As we ease out of the lockdown and return to some semblance of normal life, for some (me included!) we're still processing the carnage that's been COVID-19. This virus devastated the Black and Asian communities and left many of us feeling vulnerable and suffering...
When I found out my father hadn’t seen his sister for 35 years I couldn’t understand it. Had they fallen out? What bad blood ran between them? But no, he merely stated that he loved her and would see her when ‘ the time was right’. I got together the money for the fare to Toronto – lack of money was surely the real reason he hadn’t reunited with her. He turned me down flat. Maybe next year he said. How could he be so cavalier about things? 35 years was a long time. She was his elder. Why did he think he had all the time in the world. He said ‘You must ‘take time’. I left him to it. Got on with my busy life of meetings, deadlines, living London. Loving and moving.
Months later out of the blue he asked if I would go to Toronto with him. It was time. I got the ticket and off we went. Thirteen hours later we landed in Toronto. As we walked through customs I scanned the waiting faces. Who was my long lost aunty? My father walked with a purpose and went straight up to a stern looking woman. They hugged. She hugged me and took his hand. As they walked off I saw the years fall off them, they were animated, enraptured with each other. Over the next week they savoured every story, every picture. The experiences they shared filled them up. For them time hadn’t been an enemy. It didn’t matter.
I was supposed to devour Toronto. Do the ‘tourist thing’. Time dragged on some days, flew by on others. I thought about my father’s saying. Realised it was my expectations about what should happen, when and how that made it seem that time changed. I thought about the need to measure, control or evaluate life against percieved time spans. What is the rush? Why is it so hard to ‘take time?’ I started having long lunches, and people watching. I slowed down and did less but engaged more. As we strip away the distractions, and mindless activities we engage in to ‘fill up time’, the essence of who you truly are can emerge more strongly. You fall into step with yourself. You attract everything you need. You’ll find your rhythm of life like a musical note in the breeze just for your ears and if you allow it, it’ll lead you to exactly where you’re truly meant to be. Take time.