Two weeks have passed since we began official lockdown. Next Monday we will know how long they will extend it by. I guess, it’s no use in pretending the Government will announce they will ease restrictions, the chances are, we are in it for the next foreseeable month or maybe more.
The Sun came out this weekend, like no other time of this year, it almost felt like June. Clear skies and mild wind greeted us through our windows. Taunting us and reminding us of all the things we cannot do. Today should have been the beginning of Easter Holidays, a ray of hope and excitement for everyone. April has always been my favourite time of the year. Looking back, all my great memories had been forged around this time. The start of spring brings me a joy, like no other seasons, not even summer. It never fails to give me the sense of birth, a new beginning. With the clocks extending, the sun emerging and with each passing hour, the days get longer. It allows me to approach the year with excitement, joy and hope of what I can do for the next coming months. Unlike in July and August, where the scorching heat only reminds me that the days are reaching its peak and everything is slowly grinding down and the days will soon be coming to a halt.
This year it’s hard to think or feel anything, even with it being 21 degrees outside today. The uncertain future and the news around us, hasn’t allowed me to contemplate tomorrow. Instead a feeling of restlessness has clouded me. The News makes me more confused than anything else, the reason why I have stopped reading or watching them. All my group chats in Whats App is in its peak volume from family to friends. Being in lockdown has us all documenting our thoughts, memes, videos and links we come across every day. There seems to be a trend in all of these new renewed connections. We have the religious ones, the funny ones, the paranoid one and the critical ones.
Running in the City this weekend, it was clear that many have flouted the social distancing rules, using the sun as an excuse to put on their running tights, only to hang out in hot tourist or gathering points. The warning from the Government, doesn’t seem to have an effect on some, as threats of tougher restrictions and taking away our right to exercise, looms over our heads.
As some good news comes out of Italy and Spain with their death counts and infection rates being lower and also here in the UK producing a lower number than yesterday. We are still far from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. We don’t even know what plateau feels or looks like in this situation. Boris Johnson being hospitalised with Covid 19, makes it seem like, this crazy Sci-Fi movie we have found ourselves in, has not even reached its climax. We are still half way through the plot. Whether you like or hate the guy, there is no denying having the leader of the country hospitalised by the same thing that is leading the world down a downwards slope, can have a toll on your faith that it’s going to get better.
I am trying to keep it normal. This week, I set up my Sheesha set in my garden, like I do every time, around this time of the year. I watered my dead mint plant, which within the next two weeks, like every year will no doubt sprout its first leaves. Making the small part of my garden where I smoke my Sheesha, bask with its fragrance. Having Sheehsa at the end of every spring or summer night allows me to think, it gives out a relaxing ambience and lets me unwind.
Today, in the first warm night of the year, when I take my hit at the pipe and watch the coal burn, I think of the picture of me in staring into the sunrise. The one attached to this blog. This was only six months ago when me and my cousins were in New York. This picture was one of my favourite moments of the whole trip. Me and my cousin got up at 6am that morning, in our Air BnB in Brooklyn and ran all the way to the famous Coney Island Beach. There, unbeknown to us and to our surprise, we were greeting by this sunrise and the calm waters rushing into the coastal sands. It was an amazing sight, a permanent sign of hope and a reminder, even in a congested concrete jungle like New York, there laid such peaceful and beautiful scenery. How the world has changed from six months ago. I think about NYC and my family there and the current situation they are going through and how Covid 19 has affected them. But just like the sunrise on that day, I know they will rise from this.
As I sit in my garden and take another hit on my Sheesha. I can clearly see the top of The Shard, the lights turned to blue for the foreseeable future, in honour of the NHS. I am reminded of the great unity this country and the people have for our heroes working there under these circumstances. The lights acting as a signal, a beacon of strength, admiration of resilience and gratitude. The moon shines above me, nature’s permanent light, guiding us and reminding me, man made light may come from human hope, but the universe will never fail in shining it own light of hope. A few stars trickle next to it, maybe one day we will get to see all the magnificent stars shine again across the skies of London, showing us the brilliance and power of the cosmos. The ancient kings and souls that had found themselves long lost in there. Crazier things have happened, crazier things are happening, almost nothing is impossible nowadays. We have used man-made structures to hide the lights that burn in space, we can find ways to undo them. Unless we look up and try to uncover the mysteries and mystical nature of the universe, we can’t find ourselves here in this earth.
So as the second week passes, I still keep hope, I know the sun will rise again, just like my picture.
As The Queen said in her speech
‘Better days will return, families will meet again, friends will meet again, we will meet again.’