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Wendy paused for thought this week ...

Enjoying some precious time in the garden on a lovely spring morning during a Level 4 lockdown, my thoughts turned to how others, particularly those living alone, were coping with the lockdown. Was anyone lonely, isolated, afraid, I wondered? Then I let my mind wander.

I pictured times past, running through fields in the summertime when I was a child. I felt the wind in my hair, the sun on my face, heard the birds and bees and the screams of delight and laughter from my friends. We chased each other, played tag, tumbled, and fell until we finally became breathless and had to pause. And when a (left-brain) thought came into my mind that said – ‘don’t be ridiculous, that’s not you! You walk slowly these days and can’t possibly run’, I pushed those thoughts out of my mind and returned to the joyous ones. 

And that led to thoughts of my teenage years, which moved on to wondering where some of my school friends are now. Not the ones I’m still in close contact with, but some of the others. Which country are they living in? Are they still alive? What are they doing? Are they as happy as I am? Could I find any of them? Could we recapture some of those memories together?

And so it was inside to look through old photos! And there they were, always playing the fool and laughing at the camera. We all looked so young and so happy. And the memories! What were we doing that day? 

And I realised that I didn’t need to find them. I didn’t need to speak to them. I didn’t need to let those unbelievable memories be affected by today’s reality. I could spend hours remembering. I could imagine possible futures for all of us if our lives had turned out differently and we had remained close. And that led, of course, to look through photos of some of the friends I am still in close contact with, friends I've spent special holidays with in faraway places, and the fascinating people we've met on the way.

It was a happy morning, spent reminiscing, filled with carefree thoughts and happiness. I could feel my heart bursting with joy and the good fortune of having known such wonderful friends. 

Benjamin Franklin said, ‘Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late’. There’s no wisdom needed to let our thoughts count as we get older. After all, we’ve got a wealth of experiences we’ve accumulated over the years and so much to be thankful for.  

It’s your thoughts that count when you’re all alone - 31 August 2021

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