Chastening: Elise Heslop

The rush. The ‘I’ll get there quicker if I drive’. The vanishing of another week: lost to yet more work, more commitments, more activities. The common thinking that I see and hear everywhere: “Oh, but it’s good to be busy!” Life is busy. Busy is normal. It’s what happens when you’re a grown-up.

And now all that has come to an abrupt halt. Our relentless march has stopped. We take pause.

The unfurling. The stopping. It feels like time, once a fast-running liquid that I could never get enough of has become something sticky and viscous that I can’t seem to shake. I look at the clock and expect hours to have gone by, why is it only 11am?

This state of unknown carries pangs of melancholy and regret. I grieve for closeness, for hugs and catch-ups with friends. What I would give for a 3 hour long Sunday lunch at Mum and Dad’s now, when only weeks ago there always seemed to be something that got in the way, somewhere else to be. 

Here comes the wave of reckoning. A vast reset and recovery of our souls and of our humanity.

The world has shrunk and paradoxically, I feel freedom. Freedom from the hysteria of modern life. Freedom to take time and appreciate what I took for granted. Freedom from the ‘shoulds’ that are unforgiving and mean. 

Time to go easy. Time to be kind. Time to change my ways for the better.

Mum, Dad: I’ll be seeing you for lunch just as soon as this is over.

Elise Heslop