More Musings from the Park

Sister Winnie McGarry OP

Covid-19 has changed all our lives.  My new routine of online streamed Mass, prayer, reading, youtubing, and walking in the park has been punctuated only by necessary trips to the local shops or preparing a meal.  As term got under way, with the lockdown and distant online teaching, my pastoral role is limited to an email or a phone call.    

My walks in the park have become very special and the new life springing forth everywhere seems more magical than ever. Trees burst their buds before my eyes, spring flowers in abundance create a kaleidoscope of colour, baby ducklings multiply, and in the stillness all around birdsong produces a glorious sound.  All this bathed in beautiful sunshine!

“I wandered lonely as a cloud’’, that famous opening line of Wordsworth’s poem sprang to mind on one of my walks.  I walked alone as did the other walkers and joggers.  Yet, I did not feel lonely. The solitude of social distancing is aloneness not loneliness.  The shared peace in the park is palpable. 

Covid-19 has brought the world to its knees.   Many thousands have died, businesses have folded and jobs have been lost, new heroes found.  There has been and there is much suffering.  I feel among the fortunate for whom staying at home is safe and comfortable.  WhatsApp has become a great vehicle for contact and sharing of humour and inspiration. One-day lockdown and social distancing will be history.   What kind of a world will post covid-19 be?  Will it be life as before or will humanity learn some salutary lessons from this pandemic and create a better, more just and safer world?

‘Oh, sing a new song to the Lord’! (Psalm 98:1)

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