I went for a walk in Croppies Acre memorial park. A beautiful Sunday with the promise of fine Spring weather. Daffodils and Cherry Blossoms in bloom. Not many people about. I usually wear my airpods and listen to a podcast. For some reason I didn’t today. Instead, I shared the look of guilt on some people’s faces for being out at all. We kept at arm’s length. Two arm’s length, 2 meters. I kept thinking about an account I read somewhere about the fine Summer of 1939 in the weeks before war began. I imagined that people might have looked like this at each other then? in late August 1939. In parks, in London and Berlin. Hoping that talk of war is overplayed. The warm sunshine a harbinger of normality remaining. As I walked out the gate I remembered some lines from Auden.
Faces along the bar
Cling to their average day:
The lights must never go out,
The music must always play,
All the conventions conspire
To make this fort assume
The furniture of home;
Lest we should see where we are,
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.
– W.H. Auden, Septemper 1 1939.
If I go out tomorrow, I will wear my airpods