LOCKDOWN lasted four weeks.
It felt like an eternity. The silence seemed much more profound this time.
The sense of not knowing if this would be the way of things forever.
Away from my children, I spent nights by the firepit with the dog.
The stars and the flames and the wind in the trees made more sense than being inside.
The days were spent in fits and starts. I felt stranded between having so much to get done in the quiet hours and nothing to fill the time, but walk, walk, walk. I planted one geranium. A massive feat.
In the middle of it all, I lost a cherished friend.
It felt like the end of the world. It was. When the pub opened again this last weekend, it was too late for us to steal one last chat over a pint.
IN OTHER NEWS:
That is the thing about this surreal age of COVID and lockdowns.
Time stands still, as we wait, and hibernate, and then when we emerge, everything is not the same.
The life cycle has gone on. Once it was winter, and then suddenly it's the middle of September.
Once we were joyous at 3am. Then the world closed its doors and silence fell. And no re-opening can restart a life.
At the same time, of course, how lucky are we to be here in Leeton, where it's quiet and safe and open, with fresh air and wide skies, plenty of food and a kind-hearted community.
There are a thousand worse places to be.
So the two contradictory things must sit side-by-side - the gratitude and the grief - and that is life.
A ray of sunshine was the arrival from the printers of two new books.
Written by Leeton Writers Collective members Ben Smith and Lauren Forner, they are the first individual original first-time collections of poetry published through Riverina Writing House. Riverina poetry, Riverina stories, by Riverina writers.
In the next week, the third book of the inaugural trilogy, by Christie Barnhill, will also be hot off the press.
What an historic moment for these three first-time published writers. I'm so proud of them and all the people who make up the writers collective family.
Keep your eye out for launch details, now we can gather again.
A privilege I will never take for granted. Leeton Writers Collective meets every Wednesday night from 6.30pm at The Freckled Duck.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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