Once upon a time Boy Child and I found a lonely turnip on the local beach. We named him Wilson.
This was way back at the start of Lockdown (around a week in maybe). When I started working from home, Boy Child and I started taking our authorised daily exercise together in the late afternoon and, more often than not, we would walk to the local beach and back.
And that’s where this story began ….one day we met Wilson.
We moved him up to the back of the beach, safely nestled him among the rocks and grass out of the reaches of the tide.
Each day we would pause to check if he was still there. In the early days, Boy Child attempted to play football with him but without much success. Wilson wasn’t much of a team player.
A few weeks after I’d met Wilson, I was out for a walk with the Big Green Gummi Bear and made the mistake of introducing them. Big mistake! The Big Green Gummi Bear drop kicked him down the beach and into the river.
I was distraught!
Next day, even though the weather was pretty miserable, I hurried back to the beach after work on my own in search of Wilson.
I scoured the tide line and, eventually, in among a tangle of seaweed, a little wet and wrinkled, I found Wilson. Carefully I carried him back up the beach and returned him to the safety of his rocky hideout.
Over the weeks that slipped into months, Boy Child and I continued to check on him, daily at first but over the last week or so our visits have been less frequent. However, every time we visited the beach, we checked up on him.
Lockdown hasn’t been kind to poor Wilson. It’s taken it toll on his wellbeing and he’s now a shrivelled-up shadow of his former self.
He has survived his ten weeks of Lockdown but only just….
So, why am I talking about a turnip as if he were a person?
Over these past few challenging weeks, I’ve done a lot of thinking about what has been happening and about what the future may hold.
One of my fears for folk as result of the weeks and weeks of Lockdown restrictions is- will we ever be the same again?
The weeks of isolation. The weeks of only being allowed out once a day for exercise or for essential shopping. The weeks and weeks of practically non-existent social contact. The lack of conversation. The lack of company. The lack of physical contact and hugs!
I wonder, sadly, in the months to come, once the world begins to reawaken how many human “Wilson’s” will be found.
I worry about how many individuals around the globe entered Lockdown in their hometowns as healthy human beings only to slowly emerge weeks and months later as withered shrivelled up versions of their former vibrant selves.
I wonder how many people started out with good intentions to keep in touch with elderly or lonely friends and neighbours but as the weeks wore on, checked less and less often on their wellbeing.
I wonder how many of life’s loners perhaps fell ill or for other darker reasons have passed away alone and may lie forgotten in their homes for weeks or months?
It’s a truly tragic thing to contemplate but equally tragically it will most likely happen….
I sincerely hope that we all get our “and they all lived happily ever after moment” but for Wilson, Mother Nature is slowly reaching out and taking him back into her care.