Dawn crept over me, shyly.
I had not pulled my curtains properly the night before and so, through the cracks of fabric, soft pink rays began to peter in. I squeezed my eyes, pretending to shut them out. I turned. The warm sunshine started touching my hair. I turned back.
This light play between nature and me is happening even as another part of nature ravages the world, wrathfully.
The novel COVID-19 virus has shown up like an uncouth guest in homes across the world, unbidden, unwelcome. It goes wherever it pleases, lingering for as long as suits it, taking what it wants. It interrupts weddings planned months earlier, keeping apart old and young who wanted to give their blessings and joy to a couple about to come together. It destroys smaller reunions, of friends at a Friday night bar, of kids visiting parents living far away, of neighbours greeting each other as they walk their dogs. It takes people away from us, sooner than we had expected. It is turning the world upside down.
And yet, in this ransacked existence, where rubble is still forming and falling, there are already offshoots of resurgence.
Small birds have come out of hiding as the assault of mechanical beasts has disappeared overnight. There is no traffic. No noise, no smog, no power. Tentatively at first, all sorts of creatures seem to be coming back. I hear coos, tweets, and whistles that I have not heard before.
The tree outside my window has many more budding mangoes than ever. Every branch seems to be carrying half a dozen sweet fruit on its own. The whole tree is more mango than leaf.
At night, I see the stars. They wink at me. They have always been there, now I can see them. As if to applaud, I hear the croaks of frogs rise in tandem.
What sense will we make out of this when it is all over? I don’t know. There are so many conflicting signals. Even as some people selfishly hoard medical masks, other essentials, and groceries, there are others sharing generously from their own pantry, forgiving rents, and checking in on the elderly so they don’t feel alone and stranded. As more people get sick and worry about social stigma, others recover and are embraced back by their neighbourhood. As some defiantly defy the pleas for social distancing, hand washing and mask-wearing by going to the beach and mingling openly, others diligently follow it, serenading new friends from one’s balcony, making masks at home for those who need them, and staying home despite the gnawing boredom.
It is a strange time. It does not make sense.
But then, I remind myself, life isn’t really to be made sense of.
I pick up my broom and start sweeping the house.