It’s funny how attractive unavailability can be – we always want what we cannot have. This thought was very much in my mind as I read the Pastoral Letter from the Bishop which was published last evening, in response to a large part of the country moving from Tier 3 to the more stringent Tier 4.
In his letter, the Bishop noted –
“As we move into the three-week period of Tier 4 restrictions this evening, I offer a word of encouragement as we strive to do our best to observe what is asked of us and to uphold the common good of our fellow citizens.. When the government says, therefore, that we need a period of heavier restrictions to protect our hospitals and those who work in them, we should accept this in good faith.. There is no place for complaining that we are being unfairly treated, or that exceptions should be made for particular groups. We are being asked to share in the present deprivation in the hope that conditions can improve for everyone with restrictions being eased when it is safe to happen.”
I considered it to be a truly pastoral letter, fatherly in fact. Good advice was offered, together with the reasons supporting that advice – and all given in a gentle manner. Interestingly, I thought exactly the same about the last such letter issued by the Bishop. In fact, I would add that these two letters have made me look at our Bishop in a new light – I see true leadership and wisdom and I am really grateful for that.
All that said, I really would love to be able to go out somewhere today. I wouldn’t really mind where, it would be enough just to go out.
I have been out of the house once this week, and that was to go to the office – on all the other days, I worked from home. Actually, the last few weeks have been much the same. It isn’t anywhere near as terrible as my complaining might suggest – there are very many people for whom the options are significantly more limited, as my father in law would agree at this moment.
Still, I flicked through some old travel photographs and came upon the one pictured here, taken in Manhattan some years ago. So ordinary. Just a crowd of people going about their daily business, thinking of nothing in particular. I don’t actually know why I even kept that photograph – there was nothing at all interesting about it; it was so, well, ordinary. But today, it was precisely that ordinariness which made it jump out at me. How good it would be if we were like this again – able to go about our day to day lives, thinking of nothing very much as we do so.
I will go and read the Bishop’s letter again. Just to remind myself why – at least for the moment – ordinary is not an option.