Having the big table turned into a mask production line made me think about what home is like now, especially with three of us back in our two schools. Shoes and blazers stay strictly at the front door where we're greeted by a little tomte of hope that a friend made for my birthday in the summer. He tries to be a cheerful little soul. I wonder what conversations he has with the plague doctor though. Do they argue? I do hope not. I bought the little mask many many years ago in Venice. I was on a three city tour of Italy with my brother, zipping between destinations in first class train carriages and glorious heat. It all seems so long ago, not just because it was in fact decades ago, but also it seems now something from The Olden Days when people got on planes and went places!
I follow a local potter on farcebook - Rachel Julca. During Lockdown she made batches of these pendants. I bought a few for friends who had Lockdown birthdays and for the women with whom I was, and still am, messaging and calling to extend mutual love and support. Two of us were saying just this week, as we discussed whether or not we'd be going physically back to church this month, that we have never once felt devoid of teaching or fellowship over the last six months, and that indeed we have felt more a part of the body of the church in these last few months than in these last few years. I think we have made more of an effort to cleave to each other, as we have cleaved to the faithful loving kindness of God. I'm keeping my pendant up in the kitchen until the Christmas tree goes up, and then it can hang there with all the other keepsake memories that come out to tell their stories at each year's end.
And really, apart from these few things, inside the house there's not much changed. It is wonderful to come home from school in the afternoon to decontaminate and decompress. Maybe that's the biggest difference now: school clothes come off, masks go into the washing machine, everyone gets scrubbed, and we gather round a table for tea and tales. We are definitely taking more deliberate time to be together and breathe - breathe easily and breathe healthily. I do most sincerely hope that we will all be able to do the same through the next months of These Strange Times, esteemed blogging friends. Thus far has the Lord helped us, Blogland; thus far x