Growing in the dark. A potato as metaphor for the opportunity in lockdown

As this recent cupboard find so aptly demonstrates, plants use the power of etiolation to grow in the dark. After 6 days with Coronavirus – isolated, ‘dormant’ and confined to bed – it seems an apt metaphor.

One thing that is growing in these dark times is fear. Recent ONS data shows that 4 in 5 adults are either very or somewhat worried about the effect Coronavirus is having on their lives. Nearly half reported high levels of anxiety. Loneliness is growing, and with it the risks of serious illness such as depression.

I have felt anxious, that’s for sure, and still have downs as well as ups, and have put more that usual in place to maintain wellbeing. Something which helped me was realising I had to accept being unable to work, or be productive in any way. ‘Stopping’ doesn’t come easily to me, but the virus prevented me from fulfilling my usual need to ‘get shit done’. I came to recognise the benefit. I rested, really rested. This not only helped me gather the resources to get well, it also helped keep my family as safe as possible.

I am lucky enough that work could wait. Just time to stop, and reflect on the benefit of stopping to me and others.

So I find myself after all this rather etiolated, like the potato. Pale, a little thinner. And grateful of this chance to grow a little.

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