Today, seventy-five years ago, Europe, breathed again. Victory in Europe day. Enemy defeated, though years of hardship lay ahead. Survivors remained frightened, mourned, lost incomes, homes, the semblance of normality. Individuals questioned just about everything, trusted few … had little to hold onto, but, little by little, began again.
The war to end all wars. Not so much. We are in the midst of The Third World War, only this time the enemy is an unseen virus. We will get through this, and most now acknowledge that the world as we know it, and ourselves, will never be the same. We will take the rubble of life remaining and build something quite unique. My daughter keeps telling me that the previous war went on for four years, I should be patient after wanting it done within weeks. We are an impatient lot, are we not?
In this strange time, my thoughts turn to sowing seeds and watching things grow. I can’t remember the last time I planted seeds. The other day someone spoke of October and instinctively, I thought, that’s months ahead, I won’t be here … and they cancelled my flight to London, indefinitely. The idea of doing the same thing, day in and day out is foreign to me, but perhaps I will learn. Cancelling all my travel plans today, hotels and Eurostar brought such sadness to my heart. In the ensuing boredom of mid-lacklustre morning, scratching around the house for want of something to do (apart from the incessant cleaning), I found a wooden box, filled with my mother, and grand-mother’s photographs. There are oceans of them floating around, these taken on a trip to Europe, a mere four years after VE day in 1945.
First trip to see family in Holland since the war. Visit other European countries, travelling again. The moment did not go amiss. Was is not for my parent’s love of travel, I would not have walked past St. Paul’s weeks ago. During the war, a German bomb pierced the dome of St. Paul’s, destroying the high alter. In 1945 services given in thanks for the end of the war, was attended by more than 35 000 people – the church survived. I pop into the side chapel whenever I can. Notre Dame is being rebuilt. We need to witness these magnificent symbols of man’s ability to create, design, paint, plant and build, to be in awe. We travel to experience these pillars of man’s resilience under adversity, in and to tame nature, to glorify God or the gods, to be humbled and surprised.
How patient my parents, and their parents must have been back then, waiting to travel again. To see for themselves how the world has changed. To re-connect again. How patient must we be?
Today is VE day. Against the odds, the war ended. Maybe we will have a VE (virus elimination) day soon. Pray it happens.
Have a blessed weekend and keep the spirit – it’s been weeks since the Hag meltdown thank goodness … looking back to plan going forward.