Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” ~ Hans Christian Anderson
Existing is not enough. I think the quote is right but in a way, it is wrong too.
Living can be enough….
I think the world being currently on fire and filled with toxic smoke that is infiltering our daily lives in the form of Covid19 is enough to show us all exactly that. Life has changed and really when we do go back to life pre-Covid – if it ever happens, I think all of us will be different people. We are different people now. Covid19 isn’t just killing people physically by infecting them with a deadly virus, it is also killing people mentally too.
The quote really got to me because I miss my freedom. Hell, I miss the sunshine too but sadly given my geographical coordinates that is kinda a given. I miss my freedom of being able to go that the sunshine I need. Of course, both of these as well as the flowers don’t necessarily mean exactly those things.
Sunshine to me is exactly just that and I must admit we got lots of it during our first lockdown and it made the experience far more bearable than I could ever imagine. I spent my days writing or reading in the garden, in sun with a cuppa nearby! I enjoyed every moment and loved the opportunity to relax, plant flowers and vegetables and I felt safe knowing my family was all under one roof. Given there is a second lockdown looming at present and today, I feel like I might need a boat to do the school run, I feel this lockdown without that sun might not be so pleasant. I definitely am not a winter person. Don’t get me wrong – I love the fluffy socks, big roasting fires, candles, and snuggles on the couch but my body hates me in winter when the cold creeps in, and I have aches and pains that put me closer to someone in their 80s rather than their 30s. I long for hot sun.
Freedom can be many things and not just being able to roam around from county to county or country to country. No freedom can be to express who you are too and in all honesty, I think Covid has killed that too. Simple things like the hairdressers, piercers, or even new clothes are all an issue now. Worry about where to go, is it safe? It is always there. Freedom is also able to be what you read, watch or listen to too. And I know I for one am so sick of Covid news being there. Family texting “have you seen how many cases there are today?” or kids telling me “so and so has Covid” – even my trusty aul Twitter feed is full of it!
Covid may have stopped me from changing my hair, or getting the new piercing I want but Covid has also shown me that existing is not enough. It isn’t.
There are so many things I want to go, places where I want to be, and in all honesty, have been too scared to do it! Constantly analyzing the what-ifs and the can’ts. When really it should be a case of I can and I can do this if this happens. My whole mental attitude around things contributes to how things pan out and really it was only when I stepped back from media during our first lockdown, I realised this. I literally devour every update and all the news to see what was happening but usually, those things were happening elsewhere, and in the grand scheme of things I could change them anyway so really why was I worrying?
Which brings me to the flowers……
My husband and my children are flowers. They are a constant fresh stream of colour and light in my life. I am very lucky in comparison to most because I had someone to cuddle up to at night and believe me, I truly understand how lucky I am too. So many folks have been separated from their other half, friends with benefits, however, you refer to them. Something so simple as a cuddle let alone having sex with someone has become a frightening experience for many. Usually, it was a case of wanting to see a clean batch of sexual health now folks need a negative covid test too.
Flowers are many other things too. None of my family has gotten sick or gotten Covid during the pandemic, which given past history is a bloody miracle. The pandemic has given us time as a family to spend actually planting actual flowers and vegetables together too as well as being in the garden daily as a family. It was relaxing and honestly, I really enjoyed the experience.
It has also made me decide on a new career change and I am currently in the process of training for that. Something I never thought in a million years I would or could do but I have been told by so many I should, so I am taking the bull by the horns so to speak and I am going to try.
Existing is not enough, living can be though. You just have to give it freedom, sunshine and remember that it isn’t just about smelling roses… You first got to plant them, nourish them, help them to grow before you can truly appreciate their glorious smell.