HOPE it’s all we have

This morning, as usual, I ventured out on my morning walk so the dog and I could both have our daily exerciseOnce again it’s yet another dull, dank and drizzly February day, with nothing much to look forward to in this bleakest ever February mid-winter lockdown. 

In the spirit of hope I wore my faithful old red duffle coat, long since relegated to the back of the under-the-stairs cupboard and being over 20 years old, now considered to be vintageI rescued it in an attempt to keep myself warm as I have no choice but to keep braving this ferocious wind and icy cold (my dog needs to do his business!), and it has been my best defence against the brutal weather we’ve endured these last few weeks. In a small way I hope it gives people a glimmer of sunshine to see me being buffeted against the wind, day in day out, wearing my trusty old Paddington coat (minus the marmalade sandwiches under my hat) like a bright red beacon of hope in an eternally grey horizon. 

The High Street shows evidence reminding us of Covid at every step: signs spraypainted on the pavement telling you to keep your distance to save lives. Posters on bus-stop windows warning that Covid kills. Shop after shop closed with no sign of when they’ll be permitted to re-open, and hand sanitising stations at every street corner. 

This morning as I walked, I wondered to myself, will things ever actually be the same again? I’m sure I’m not the only person who will never again feel completely comfortable in a crowd of people at such close proximity, without being consciously aware of what they might be spreading. Will our futures be dictated by a sense of fear of the unknown? How will we ever feel safe again with these invisible and deadly killers in our midst? It’s a quandary we’re going to have to come to terms with as it’s showing no sign of going away, and ‘they’re’ already predicting worse things will probably be just around the corner. 

Then, just as I was beginning to feel a grey cloud permanently attach itself above my hat, the words of Coldplay filling my ears began to lift my spirits. “We’re going to get it together and flower.” So, as I walked, I began to sing (yes out loud!) and it started to make me feel a little lighter. Being such a vile day, thankfully there were very few people around to witness my bonkers outburst, and most of those were runners wearing their own earbuds and listening to their own songs. But who really cares these days anyway, if a mad woman, wearing a rather too large red duffle coat is singing her heart out into the rain? Whatever helps get you through your day – right? 

It struck me then that the behemoth that is now Coldplay, are surely the most positive band out there – if you listen to any song, you’ll find an uplifting line to lighten your mood. In the words of Lovers in Japan “one day we’re going to get out” and “one day the sun will come out”. This brought back many happy memories of how it felt to be at one of their shows, stood amongst thousands of others. It reminded me of the adrenaline rushing through my body as I sang along with everyone else, while the multi-coloured butterfly confetti, magically rained down on us in all its colourful glory, and the feeling of being a part of something so huge and vibrant came flooding back to put a smile upon on my face.

I guess, ultimately, we all need to look for even the tinest glimmer of hope in these dark days, wherever we can find it. Because our memories and hope for the future are all we have to hold onto. 

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