Let love win.
Till now I’ve been content to be in the house and garden. I’ve managed to get some sun and even have lunch outside. I’ve listened to bird song and enjoyed seeing the flowers come out in our garden.
But it’s joyful to see the family in the garden. The activity of our grandson is entertainment itself and life so full of discovery. Cara and Davie are becoming sound friends. Yesterday they sat together and Davie realised the fun of feeding the dog all your food, even as Mum says no. Especially as the dog then tickles your hand as she licks it off. He was in a kink giggling and Cara was living her dream. We laughed so much it was impossible to stop the dog or Davie. Social distancing is not in their lexicon.
For me social distancing means I have to sit to one side of life. I realise I’m sort of seeing it through a lense thats greyed off. Only Davie beyond the household has breached the distance and I fear that once this lockdown has passed I won’t know how to properly take part in the world again.
My emotions too are greyed off. And my mood is flat. The sort of flatness that stops me wanting to do things. Clearing out my office space has been on the cards for months now. It may as well be for me to climb Ben Nevis. I’m tearful even as I think of it. When I feel things are just too tough I know I’m struggling with my mood again.
I see it in others too. It’s almost a lockdown phenomenon. ‘You can go out now folks. Mmmm it’s ok I will stay here, where I’m safe.’ But when I have gone to the park it’s been wonderful. Time outside is special. But social distancing is stressful on pavements. I tense with everyone I see. No wonder once I’m home I’m completely exhausted and yet all I’ve done is drive my mobility scooter.
Recent polls and surveys have identified another lockdown phenomenon. In the few weeks where we’ve seen so much about racism and rightly so, we’re also seeing people’s attitudes to the disabled harden. The polls have identified what can only be called hate crime. People told they should not be outside, told no right to go on public transport, spat on when they’ve asked someone to let them go past safely.....I won’t go on because it distresses me.
Since being a wheelchair user I have noticed behaviours change towards me. The occasional ‘does she take sugar’ moments and giving change for something I’ve paid for back to who ever is with me. Mostly I don’t get too wound up by them because life is too short but I do make a point of speaking up in the moment nonetheless. I’ve not met hate crime as yet but of course I’ve met endless occasions when access is denied because of the building. I feel so guilty when I’m with others and they are left with the many compromises I’m used to making. I know all the family are now awake to these issues. Is that why some people are so angry when they see us out, after all they are used to a world that we can’t access. The hidden people who have no right to inconvenience the able bodied!
I do experience many many kindnesses too. I do believe it’s the minority that treat the disabled as lesser than but the data suggests it’s not as few as I would have thought. It feels like a slippery slope we need to deal with. Changing attitudes starts with us all, just as it does with black lives matter. If the public look aside when they see disabled people or indeed people of colour treated wrongly then that’s the culture that prevails. I don’t want to live in a culture where hate is the norm. We can and must be better than that. Lets be the world you want to see where love wins, always.