The sky is a beautiful shade of blue. Tiny clouds, wisps of water vapour drift slowly into view, then disperse as the sun’s rays warm them. Bird song rings out, the calls and responses of feeding pairs feasting filling the air.
It is 7 a.m. and I am sitting, bleary-eyed, in a camping chair in my garden, my cold-weather down clothing insulating me from the morning chill. A mug of coffee adorns the garden wall to my left, to my right inquisitive birds are feeding on the lawn, their beaks pecking at, to me, invisible prey. The scene is one of calm serenity, of nature at-one with itself.
Of course, the world does not share the sereneness of my environment, for outside the calm and tranquillity of my early morning scene lays the mystery and panic of the pandemic which has, as it seemed, from nowhere, engulfed us. The pandemic that has caused misery for millions, has caused turmoil in our lives, has redefined normality, has hastened the demise of tens of thousands of people.
And, although I sit in my reverie, imbibing my coffee, soaking up the early morning tranquillity, I am not immune to the world outside, not isolated from it, not dismissive of it. Its effects and ubiquity have already visited me, for I have felt the embrace of SARS-Covid, of its warm and painful surprises, its valiant attempts to overwhelm my defences, to add me to the list who have succumbed.
But it precisely because I have suffered, and fought, and triumphed that I am here in the dawn bliss. Covid’s attack, now shrugged off, has led to a resurgence of a lust for life, of a yearning to do more, to grab and embrace off of life’s opportunities.
The sky has never been a more beautiful shade of blue, the birds never so dainty and appealing and joyful to watch, the very act of being alive never having been more intense. My family’s history, my rendezvous with ventricular-fibrillation, my skirmish then full-scale assault with Covid has awakened something in me, and if my sojourn with cardiology had not awakened me, then my isolation and Covid’s embrace certainly has.
If there is a lesson in this, of a lesson for me, for us, for anyone, it is that being alive is precious, each day a bonus, that each moment must be grabbed and held close.
And as I sit here in the tranquillity and romance of the start of my day I am content to just be alive and to enjoy the blueness of the sky.