Despite the joy of the Easter message, I found the bank holiday weekend hard. Seeing others by zoom, in some ways brings them closer. It can also remind us what we’re missing. Each in our own homes, no visits from family, no hugs.
Sometimes too, there’s a feeling of overload: an expectation that, since we can’t go anywhere, we can respond to many screen calls. I felt confused and torn in all directions at the beginning of the week. Mixed in with the celebration of Easter, there was the realisation that lockdown is here to stay, for now at least.
Then, on Thursday, my mum ended up in hospital with suspected COVID-19. A worrying time. That evening, as per the new normal, we went outside to applaud the NHS and carers. Our friends and neighbours all offered support and prayers; but of course, no hugs. This morning a much welcome, life size, drawing of a hug arrived in the post from my granddaughters.
In the heart of Northumberland, there is a simple chapel that has been a refuge for me. It’s a lean to building on the outside of a walled garden. Wooden benches run down either side; a wood burning stove sits in the corner. The path to the door runs through the edge of woodland. By the door, there is a simple painted sign: ‘those who lean on Jesus’ breast hear the heartbeat of God’. Those were the words that brought me comfort when the journey felt tough.