Letters from Lockdown – Number 7

The seventh in our series of Letters from Lockdown, written each week for our e-newsletter, is from Judy Eden, St Mary’s PCC Member. This letter was originally published on Friday, 17th July 2020.

Lock Down, what does it mean to you? In many ways I would say I have been lucky, living on the same site as my son, his wife and my two granddaughters has meant that I have not suffered the separation that so many people have.

But lock down has affected me in other ways, I would not say that I am a person who suffers from depression, but during this period I have had some very dark days and would find that my faith could not help me overcome these periods.  I really don’t have any reason to feel like this, I have a loving family, a lovely garden that gives me a great deal of pleasure and this year because of lock down has looked more beautiful than ever, I have had the privilege of spending many happy hours planting, weeding and having my granddaughters by my side helping! The rewards have been the children picking peas and eating them straight from the garden, carrots and potatoes all of which are the results of our earlier hard work and we look forward to other produce as the season goes by.

So I wonder why do I experience these dark days, well I miss the structure my life had before lock down, Church, not seeing the friends I have made at the school gate when I take my eldest granddaughter to school each day, not being involved in school activities, cooking for lunch club, meeting friends at WI, Friday Café at St Mary’s, although zoom has provided some contact it is not the same as being in the physical presence of friends, I cannot jump on the bus and be in Oxford in ten minutes and meet friends for coffee or lunch or just browse the shops, because the ever present threat of the virus , stops me from doing most of these things. We all hope that it will get better, but I feel that my life will never go back fully to what I had before, yes Church will resume and so will some of the other activities in time, but I have this crushing feeling that normality will no longer be how it was before.

If the lock down has taught me anything, it is that you can do without a large number of the material things you thought were important in your life it has made me reflect, in many ways, on what I really need and how to achieve this. Faith is important to me although sometimes it does feel as if God has deserted me when I perhaps needed his guidance and spiritual healing most.

But every day I also thank God that I am one lucky person to have my family so near and not too have suffered the separation that many of you have, I can walk by the river with my granddaughters or just play in the garden or bake cakes with them. So perhaps on reflection my life is so much better than what other people have endured.  Hopefully we will all feel the hand of god blessing us in the coming months as day by day we take tiny steps back to normal life.
Judy Eden