As I sit here on a windy, damp, grey, with a white sun trying to shine through the clouds day, wrapping gifts and writing cards for Christmas, I find myself reflecting on the past 9 months and I notice I keep saying to myself “I never imagined…..”
I taught my last 5 rhythms in person class on Thursday 12th March in Westport, Co. Mayo. We discussed at the end of the class that if the schools were closed we would not meet the following week. Little did I know that by the time I had the car packed we were on our way into our first lockdown.
I had a few bits and pieces to buy in Castlebar so off I went as I was so close. The start of “I never imagined…” was to begin as I entered the supermarket and was confronted by queues of people with trollies filled to the brim! I stood in the queue for 30 minutes with a handful of yogurts and wondered had I fallen asleep and woken up in a disaster zone!! No I hadn’t. I was now into an unimaginable territory and time in my life.
Manic busyness took over my life as I tried to learn how to teach via zoom and the landscape of ” I never imagined” was to be carved out over the next 9 months.
I never imagined that :
I would teach from my office in Connemara for 9 months;
I would not see a group of people in a room in person in Ireland the rest of 2020;
I would not drive my car for for weeks on end;
I would look for any excuse to cycle as often as I could to shop in Clifden (a 40km round trip, with permission from the Gardaí!);
I would teach mini movement sessions via Connemara Community Radio and offer a Mindfulness practice every Monday;
I would transfer my ongoing groups to weekend zoom sessions;
I would mainly talk to my friends on zoom or phone;
I would sit face to face with a friend in a coffee shop only 4 times this year;
I would stand in Dublin and Brussels airport and wonder was I part of the last few people left on Earth;
I would end up with 5 vouchers from Aer Lingus for flights cancelled to my ongoing group in Belgium;
I would do 2 weeks in self -isolation on my return from the one opportunity to teach in Belgium;
I would sleep in the same bed, switch on the same kettle for breakfast day after day;
I would no longer wonder what house and what part of the country I was in, on awaking;
I would have time to study online;
I would feature on The Ray D’Arcy RTE radio; Radio na Gaelteachta; BBC radio Ulster; Clare FM show talking about my book Against the Wind;
I would leave Connemara only once for a week camping in Kerry;
I would cycle 100 of kms round and round in circles;
I would be spend more on postage than diesel as I post all my Christmas presents rather than hand deliver them around the country;
Being older seemed to automatically mean being vulnerable;
“being all in this together” could sound so meaningless at times;
We actually could have the opportunity to live in a country /world were we are all valued members of society???;
I could go on and on with all the things I never imagined as we come to the close of 2020.
I am left with wondering in 2021 “What Can I Imagine” or even dare to imagine for our future?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????