Five minutes

I have to step outdoors for just five minutes to pick up something. Earlier, before I left the house, I would check the contents in my handbag to make sure I had everything I needed, and used to check my face in the mirror one last time before I left home.

But now, before I leave, I check my mask, and if I have worn it the right way, and check if I have a bottle of sanitizer in my bag.

The street is deserted, I can see the odd person here and there. There is a strange silence. I half walk, half trot, constantly checking my mask. I meet a friend, who is also wearing a mask. We wave at each other, but cannot see each other’s smile, though we know we are both smiling. Our eyes make brief contact, but we don’t stop but greet each other and keep walking in opposite directions. We shake our heads in disbelief at this surreal situation.

On my way back, I am stopped by a flash of green, streaking across a blue sky. It is the most beautiful parrot, in such a beautiful shade of green. Its red, curved beak is silhouetted against the sky. It perches on a flame of the forest tree, at once merging with the green leaves. The bright reddish-orange flowers enhance the green.

I feel a rush of delight, at this unexpected treat, a small and beautiful moment in time. Where, for a moment I forget the world, and what’s happening.

As the parrot turns its head this way and that against cotton-puff clouds on a blue sky, I feel hopeful, I feel charged. Things will get better. There will be many such wonderful days for all of us again. And at that time, such simple moments will be valued more…we will never take anything for granted!