Hitting the wall

Hitting The Wall - the photo is of Thin1 1 in a grey t-shirt and blue shorts on following Things 2 along the peak of a red sand dune. To the right, at the bottom of the dune is the salt pan of Dead Vlei and you can see the dead trees as tiny specks.

A friend from Doha used the phrase hitting the wall this week and it really resonated with me. I feel like a lot of us hit a wall this week and may well do so more times before all this is over.

It’s been a tough old week all round.

Lots of extensions on lockdown around the world, the novelty (if you can call it that) of lockdown wearing off and the slow dawning reality of being in this for the long haul – certainly quite a bit longer than 1st June which is our next milestone.

It feels like we’re climbing a mountain, doesn’t it? Right now it’s really hard to see the top, let alone how we can get down the other side.

The Things

Of all the things that have surprised me through all this, it’s how the Things have handled everything.

Don’t get me wrong – they’re bored and they miss their friends. They’ve got way too much energy to burn. And online learning is hard to keep up for more than a few weeks.

We’ve had our moments for sure but I reckon for every moment they’ve had, I’ve had two or three more.

These two Things have taught me more about getting on with this than I could have taught them. They’ve taken a deep breath when I’ve been shouty mummy and asked me to calm down, or come to give me a bear hug. They’ve found ways to entertain themselves when my own instinct is still to reach for my phone even when I’m fed up with it.

We’ve become closer as a family for all of this.

A year ago

It’s a year since we were in Namibia and I’ve been enjoying re-living the experience through all our photos. When we went to Dead Vlei we had the option to go in up and over one of the enormous red dunes or to go in through the main route.

I totally thought they’d go for the easy option but no! They jumped at the chance of a bit of an adventure. It wasn’t a mountain by any means but it was pretty hard work. Our feet sank into the sand and at times it felt like we weren’t getting anywhere.

I certainly couldn’t always see where it would end or where the point was where we could drop into the salt pan.

The top

Eventually, we got to the top and I stood, there taking it all in. Both the exercise and the view had taken my breath away. While I was standing there, a local guide came and stood next to me. He was a mine of knowledge about the area and told me an enormous amount about Dead Vlei.

When we got to the bottom we found ourselves in one of the most incredible places I’ve ever seen. 

Hope

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I, like so many of you, have found myself clinging to hope this week.

I have to believe that there’s a bigger reason for all of this.

That we will look back on this climb and realised just how much we achieved and how we’ve become better people in the process. That we will get to the top, whenever and wherever that may be, and be lucky enough to meet more super awesome people like Lucas the Namibian guide. I hope that we will get to look at an incredible view.

And that the place we get to on the other side is better than any place we could ever imagined. 

Emma Morrell
Emma Morrell

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