During the Second World War, my grandfather was a Lancaster Bomber pilot. This is a slightly uncomfortable fact, given that we as a family have lived in Germany for years and visit dear friends there as often as we can. But, of course, my grandfather was a hero, one of millions who saved Britain from Nazi invasion.
During that frightening time which my grandfather never really spoke about afterwards, something magical happened, amidst the godless destruction and the death and the fear. He ended up in hospital with a back injury. Grandfather was roused back to health by a pretty nurse-who became my grandmother. In a frenzy of love they married and got pregnant, although perhaps not in that order:-) I wouldn’t be writing these words today had it not been for the Second World War throwing my grandparents together in the most austere and frightening of times.
Most of us cannot compare what we have globally experienced in 2020 as anything like as challenging and all-consuming as the Second World War, but it has been a time of collective distress.
Personally we have lost our income. My husband is an unpaid furloughed pilot-and he’s our sole earner, give- or- take my yoga teaching pocket money. After months of trying and failing to find a job, yesterday we took paperwork to the bank to pull out all the savings we have. We don’t know how long they’ll have to stretch, but it’s a modest lifestyle for a year-we hope the airline business will rise to its feet by then.
So my husband has been home for six months. It has been the most special year, one I wouldn’t exchange for anything. Thanks to his presence, our marriage is stronger; we have a blooming new vegetable garden, packed with herbs and tomatoes, peppers and onions. He’s also started a drone business and is working night and day to bring it to life.
Our children, previously raised by a single parent, given how much my husband was away working, have blossomed under daddy’s attention. Our son has joined Civil Air Patrol under his father’s suggestion and is relishing a taste of military life (I’m sure his great-grandfather would be as proud of him as we are.) He’s also achieved straight A’ for the first time ever-even more remarkable when I tell you that he goes to a school designed for children with learning difficulties.
I’ve been writing a book for nigh two years and, thanks to Covid grinding life to a halt/sloping walk for a while, I’ve managed to complete it, albeit polishing it ready to send to agents.
It’s been a conscious, mindful effort to turn away from fear, from what-if’s. Instead we have found the hidden blessings in what could be a very worrying time for our family. Gratitude is a constant practice. Every evening around the dinner table we each name three things the day has gifted us with. Each morning Eric and I sit amongst his ‘quarantine garden,’ excitedly imagining what the future holds, how the Universe is rearranging our life so much to extract more from us, so we can Be more. The pause button has allowed us the opportunity to work on our dreams.
To quote one of my favorite movies,
‘There’s no present like the time’Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Think about your life, the most challenging times. What gifts came from that period? Maybe you’ll have to search, dig around a wee bit in the dirt-but they’re there, like pieces of gold glistening through the sand. When I reflect back, the worse the challenge, the greater the gift born from it. Maybe you’re moving through a very difficult time right now. Remember every thought, word and deed is creating your future. Search for the hidden blessings, amplify them; lean into simple pleasures. Most importantly of all, trust life is conspiring For You, even if it feels like the opposite. How different life would look if we could embody this belief.
Many blessings-hidden or obvious- to you.