MOMENTS IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC - NO. 16

However, whilst the tide of events is troubling, unexpected pleasure can materialise from the simplest of things…

As I write, seated in my Belfast garden, lazing in unseasonably strong spring sunshine, Heather and I are weaning ourselves from 13-weeks of lockdown isolation. I reflect that we can't yet bask in the dubious pleasure of being post-brexit, we definitely aren’t clear of the consequences of coronavirus and, with a steady stream of bad-news stories in the media, a fog of anxiety has gathered. Zoom has been great but a disconnect remains. There’s a palpable sense of uncertainty about the future and a constant, disquieting sense of an unwelcome new-normal. However, whilst the tide of events is troubling, unexpected pleasure can materialise from the simplest of things.
In mid-May, peak-lockdown, the doorbell rings…a delivery. Recently, there’s been a few more of those than usual: groceries and DIY-supplies for jobs, once chores, that now substitute for entertainment. We aren’t expecting anything but as delivery-man trundles his trolley towards us, his consignment reveals itself – six cases of wine, made by our Cortona neighbours, Alessandro & Laura, ordered when we were last at our house, in March.
I was ecstatic! I had long since set aside expectation of a delivery from Italy and, during our frequent WhatsApp-ing, Alessandro hadn’t let slip that one of his first actions as lockdown eased in Cortona was to ship our wine. This was no mere diversion from lockdown lethargy, it was a moment of pure, childish rapture; an unexpected pleasure, a delightful surprise… a reconnection with friends, Cortona and Italy. And, delivery-man’s grin indicated that he was warming to being welcomed with more enthusiasm than usual, another little chink of light in extraordinarily gloomy times. Silly, perhaps; trivial, certainly; a moment of bliss, definitely.
Paul Clarke, 29/06/2020 07:52:11

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