Home in pandemic times

We live in pandemic times. There has been no Camino for me this year. The world has been in ‘lock-down’, we have been ‘sheltering in place’, the latter being a more inviting term for staying home from work and play.

Many of my neighbours have discovered or rediscovered the small pleasures of home: planting a vegetable garden, baking bread and cakes, walking and cycling as a family.

Some, whose work has consumed them until now, have learned the joys of home and family. Instead of hurrying through the morning and coming home worn out, they have slowed down to child time, listened and been heard, seen and been seen by spouse and children.

A suburban walking path passes our house. It’s just a dirt track along a paddock fence. Kangaroos and sheep graze among candle barks and yellow gums within arms-length. When Canberra was in lock-down and everyone was forced to stay home whole families walked by. Small children pointed out lambs from atop their father’s shoulders. Older children wobbled along on their bikes. Mothers with babies wrapped to their chests thrilled to joeys climbing into their mothers’ pouches.

It has been a time of coming home, of being simple and free. For many it has been a gift, a reassessment of their lifestyle and priorities. A lot of my clients now work from home for part or all of their week. At first this was to avoid infection with COVID-19, now it is because their homes have become oases of delight and contentment.

A batch of apple muffins, a possum-sampled pumpkin, wattle in the front garden

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