A guest piece today from Sally Brown, published poet and fellow member of Holmfirth Writers’ Group and Holme Valley Poets. How will we look back on this extraordinary time? ….
Postcard from the future
Dear world – in 2020 you took a break, a dry run for retirement. You slowed and the earth turned at a different pace. The air was cleaner, brighter, more crisp on the tongue. People moved with uncertainty but in the knowledge that, in some ways, things were better. You stopped pumping toxic gas and chemicals into the air. Blue skies returned to Delhi. Mountain ranges in Pakistan were viewed in the distance for the first time in 30 years. Aeroplanes stopped flying. It felt like a miracle. And yet on the other side of the abyss, people were dying, gasping for breath. Not for them the endless horizon but the horror of hospital ventilators. Not for them the bright song of a wren, the crazy cry of a curlew, the frantic mating dance of spring hares. Only the tangled wires of intensive care treading a fine, suffocating line between life and death. This unstoppable virus kept us behind closed doors, prevented loved ones from holding hands. Stopped the last words of the dying from being heard. It was as if the world was carved in two – between the bliss of simply being and the horror of dying alone. But in the midst of horror there was hope. Voices sang from balconies, dance classes were conducted from rooftops. We checked in with each other. Communities rallied and supported. The kind became even kinder. And this slowing of the earth, this taking time out, became a way of life. We learned to live as we should. We learned the beauty of compassion and caring and we carried on.
I’m a creative writer based in the Pennine market town of Holmfirth in West Yorkshire. My preference is for writing poetry and my writing is influenced by the stunning landscape of the Peak District which is right on my doorstep. I’m also a member of the incredibly supportive Holmfirth Writers Group and Marketing Director for Huddersfield Literature Festival. To date I have had my poetry and prose published in various anthologies and on the poetry website Snakeskin.