Home Before Sundown is a personal project which observes the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on my family. The project explores the relationship between both the landscape and people, looking at how we have these spaces to escape reality for a brief second.
A time of quiet and reflection, we rethink our past priorities as normality quickly changes. There is no time for distractions – we must face our deepest fears, and listen. The noise of busy offices and laughter in the pub and the beeping horns of traffic are no more. Instead, the songs of the birds become the soundtrack to our days. We must find comfort in simplicity. Being faced with uncertainty and our absolute mortality, brings us closer to home than ever before. Those whom we love become our greatest asset – worth more than any job, any house, any money. Those of us who are healthy appreciate each intake of breath as we are awoken to the power of our bodies, and its ability to fight, and to heal.The whole world breathes together as each day passes. There are breaths of despair, breaths of panic, and breathlessness for the victims of the disease. But we breathe with hope that the day will come when our breath will be a sigh of relief. Winter turned into Spring as we stayed indoors. Nature continued to keep our spirits up with its beauty, reminding us it is greater than we will ever be. With the lessening pollution, and clearing of waters we are reminded that even in the darkest of times, there is light. I answer my phone to those I am far from and miss dearly, many times a week now. We smile, and laugh, and cry and ponder more connected than ever before. The monotony of everyday has become a rhythm I know. I move to it each hour, a beat at a time – a breath at a time – we get through it.
“Stay at Home. Protect The NHS. Save Lives.”
The phrase that will be printed in history books has become the mantra that connects us all. Long gone are the days of independence co-dependency is vital, and community has returned. The smiles and nods suitably social distanced apart; the frequent video calls and checking in; the voluntary efforts of thousands.
We pull together in times of need, and the world will forever be changed.
Words by Grace Akpene Sodzi