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Victoria Wheeler - 13 Jul 2020


     The dog days of summer have hastily commenced once again, the previously crisp air has become infected with thickness of heat and pollen, but also an unexpected pollutant. Undoubtedly this year has proven that our rigid ways of living have become too regulated, almost out of synchronisation with Mother Nature's plan for us as her oyster. July usually brings with it the sounds of celebration and glory, as well as a burst of colour at the midpoint of the year. However, 2020 unwittingly took an unexpected turn and successively took us on an unexpected journey of spontaneity.

     The world has taken to the Covid-19 pandemic with great fortitude, however now we all sit behind screens, awaiting for the call to tell us it is safe to return to life 'as it once was'. While we watch our country crawl out from under the lockdown rock, it is likely that 2020 will see the return of old habits, ones that have destroyed us in the past. Time passes with unabating speed and the longer we refuse to follow the guide of the earth and our duty as stewards the quicker our beautiful ecosystem will cease to nothingness. View this article as a reminder that the fact that something has existed for a long time, doesn't mean it's existence is imperative. Everything is disposable, even long held traditions of standing in somebody else's personal space or not washing your hands. 

      Guiding myself through this year has been arduous, as I am sure it has been for every member of the population. The month of July hosts graduation events celebrating the achievements of students and parading their efforts, however this year has offered a sour fruition. Though I now sit without my cap and gown, with no graduation date to count down to I find myself pondering the value of this time spent inside due to Covid-19. I know that within my own thoughts I often focus on superfluous anxieties be that as it may, four months of total isolation at first glance seems to be a nightmare. A descent into madness. University has taught me of academics and artists, yet a pandemic has edified our roles as stewards of the Earth.

      Taking away comforts such as the pub or family gatherings has revealed the latent content of our existence; we all rely upon each other and without community we would have never thrived. As the pandemic opened Pandora's box, hope remained strong in the reminder that we will once again return to those comforts we once knew. However, relying upon that hope is only a fraction of our duty as humans. It is at this point that I would like to direct this article to something more spiritual, less of a lament over the losses of 2020 but instead advice on how to breathe through the unpredictability of our beautiful Earth.

      Focussing closely upon Hindu traditions I have come to learn of the importance of one's Dharma. Especially during the lonely lockdown months, the concept of Dharma illuminates a passion within that every human posses, a passion for life. The concept is rather simple and is shared across many religions, with the main focus of Dharma being the order that makes our universe harmonise and function, however this order relies upon each individual's ability to follow their duties and virtues. Therefore, I came to the conclusion that this time of uncertainty is a quintessential period for us to find compassion and ease anxieties. I have began using the thirty seconds recommended for hand washing as a short period of meditation. Where before, I would run my hands under the water without a thought and wash off the soap suds before mindlessly drying my hands, now I find it important to take a moment to make all duties ones of mindfulness. The best way to calm my own anxieties is to ensure that I am aware. Thus, gifting myself that time whilst washing my hands eases my mind and allows me time to sharpen the obscurities that plague the good morning news.

(Image: LightFieldStudios from Getty Images Pro)

       For as long as I can remember, hand washing has been merely a motor response yet adding mindfulness to the process begins to bury those old habits that have cursed us before. I would be interested to begin a conversation on the loss of old habits, as well as how best to deal with the anxieties that come with loss and the realisation of our own duties towards Mother Nature. Take the energy that you are putting into fear and modify it to action, in clearer terms become the change you want to see. Covid-19 has exceeded everybody's expectations and this reminds us never to hold patterns too closely, things will always come without warning and it's imperative that we hold a bright beacon to signal our power and ability to take care of our Earth. 

       Know that the storm will pass, however it is advisable that you still carry an umbrella. Be prepared for the unforeseen moreover, continue to be mindful in your journey through the rain. 





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