Yesterday I noted day 2 of the lockdown on my calendar. The day again was busy and fractured, there was a sense of not doing the things I’d planned, of hopping from task to task, of feeling slightly/wildly out of control in this tipping, spinning universe, and yet, the day like the one before contained new experiences, new learnings and blessed moments of stillness and clarity.
I’m missing my 3 year old grandson, the light of my life but also there is relief that he is safe with his parents and grandparents in the countryside south of Auckland. And we had contact yesterday through FaceTime. He has been sticking like a limpet to his pregnant mother these past few days. How do you tell a three year old that nobody is coming to his party because of a bug, a virus? How do you explain why suddenly, urgently you are vacating your home on the Whangaparoa and rushing south to stay with grandparents Indefinitely before the whole country goes into lockdown? Strangely, because he is close to his grandfather, he didn’t want to accompany him yesterday, down the drive to collect the mail. He wanted to stay wedged against his mother on the sofa. My daughter needed a break. So we explained that Mormor was going to read him a story on FaceTime and he was going sit by himself and listen. It worked. There he was, the bright little button, at the table with his afternoon tea - an apple, a raisin and half a muffin. Snap. Mormor had an apple, a raisin and a walnut for her afternoon snack. Through the long period of being a nomad I have carried a bag of favourite books for Remy. Yesterday he chose Dr Seuss ‘One Fish Two Fish.’ The nonsense words and the rhyming appeal to him. It’s a long book and I haven’t yet mastered the knack of holding a book in front of the camera and peeking over the top to read, so there were pauses, but he stayed the distance. And even asked for one more, a simple and lovely book by Sarah Garland, ‘All Gone.’ (I’’m still getting the hang of Facebook writing - can you push the return button for a paragraph break or will that send the post). There was drizzle all morning and into the afternoon but by 5pm the sun was shining golden and warm across the rooftops of Devonport picking out church spires and colonial domestic architecture all the way to the sea. Through the garden gate and a hole in a hedging of Mahoe I can gain access to a reserve and walk. Yesterday I found a viewing point with seats cut into the volcanic rock walls. In that place I watched the rapture as the sun, dropping in the sky, illuminated a plant in the foreground and a single tree, a stroke of brilliant green amongst the tree canopy in the middle distance and to the right a palm, its green fronds edged with silver and Takarunga in the distance. The clouds above were painterly, a wash of soft whites and grays and pale blues washing over. I decided I can do this stint in isolation as long as I have access to the natural world and its beauty, each and every day.