And so 2020 draws to an end. So much has passed, so many new, unasked-for experiences, so much learned.
When we began the Eynsham Lockdown project at the beginning of the pandemic, I believed it would be over by the end of the year. It isn’t. There is a way to go. But we move forward with greater knowledge in the hands of the experts on how to tackle this virus, and with the hope and expectation that vaccine roll-out will bring a return to normal living in 2021. As individuals, we have become strangely familiar and more able to cope with our new way of life. And as communities, we have strengthened our capacity and willingness to help those who need our support. For now, we need to hold to these gains, hold fast, be strong. This, too, will end.
This year has been a year of loss, in many ways, for me personally: physical estrangement from my dearest loved ones, my mother slipping deeper into the world of Alzheimer’s, bereavement, my health and work. But life has a funny way of going on, and there is pleasure and joy and gratitude to be found in each and every day: bird song, nature, hobbies, books … and not forgetting love and friendship, which don’t fade with physical distance, but grow even stronger and more urgent.
As we move into a New Year, my thoughts are thus: As the winter solstice has passed and the shortest day is behind us, each day from now on will bring more and more light.