'On the Edge of a Precipice'

I posted this on Instagram last week:
The war (virus) creates no absolutely new situation; it simply aggravates the permanent human situation so that we can no longer ignore it. Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice. Human culture has always had to exist under the shadow of something infinitely more important than itself. If men had postponed the search for knowledge and beauty until they were secure, the search would never have begun.’ 
C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

One of our iconic beaches was closed on the weekend after it was packed with people enjoying Friday’s warm weather. Further beach closures were added when the social-distancing rules put in place earlier in the week by the NSW Government were flouted.
It seems that on the one hand there is selfish panic buying of what started off as toilet paper madness which progressed to the hoarding of pasta, flour, tinned food, hand sanitiser, disinfectant, disposable gloves…While on the other hand there are those who don’t seem to understand (or care) that they could put others at risk.
Today, all non-essential services are closing in our state, as are most of the state borders. Schools are not open unless parents need to work but attendance rates were already dropping last week.
Universities courses have gone on-line and many people are working from home, including my husband.
We’ve had a few Internet issues and if he’s on a conference call no one else can be online. Apparently even my Fisher & Paykel electronic washing machine interferes with the Internet so I have to switch it off during the calls.
So since last week we’ve stopped swimming, orchestra rehearsals, cello lessons (although we’ll probably do those via face-time next week), university (for my son) as well as his casual work & as of this week, I won’t be looking after my two grandchildren on Tuesdays so we’ll be face-timing them to catch up.
Today I was looking through this book by Marguerite Patten who worked for The Ministry of Food as a food adviser during the second world war. Food rationing was introduced gradually in Britain from January, 1940 and continued until 1954! 
While we have shelf shortages of food, we’re not on rations by any stretch of the imagination:


This was meant to be my son’s 21st birthday present but I only finished it on Saturday – five years later (!!) – while we were driving to the park for his and my husband’s combined birthdays before everything shuts down. I don’t know how many one and a half inch hexagons I sewed here but it felt never ending. I had it professionally quilted and got it back from the quilters on Friday, just in time to sew the binding around the edges.



Apart from our outside activities being curtailed, Moozle and I have continued with our usual homeschooling routine. We’ve had a bit more time to go out walking and the other day we found an eel in our local creek. Last week I started reading ‘Notes From a Small Island’  by Bill Bryson as a distraction from all the frenzied news that’s washing over us. I bought it while we were in London last September to remember some of the places we visited. It requires a bit of editing for younger people but it’s a fun read. When we went through the Roman Baths in the city of Bath in Somerset, England, Bryson was one of the main narrators on their audio guides. Update: I ditched this book after 16 chapters.



We’re setting our alarm for 8pm each evening as a ‘call to prayer’ to pray for protection over the vulnerable people we know and for an end to this virus.


14 thoughts on “'On the Edge of a Precipice'

  1. You're right, at least we're not rationed!!!I'm grateful for the \”essential jobs\” category–into which my husband's and daughters' jobs fall. It is a strange season in which we are living. I wish you all well!


  2. stunning quilt! things are about the same here… it's difficult to believe that things are as bad as they say tho… i keep thinking about the plagues of history and how many died: this one seems rather weak in comparison…


  3. I'm thinking about history, too…Anne Frank, Corrie Ten Boom, stories from the holocaust, life under Stain, Hitler. We still have it better…but, we sure can draw from their stories. Amazing, how you are worlds away, and it is like we share the same exact conditions. God has put our lives in perspective. Praying for the humbling of this planet.


  4. The quilt and the story behind it are incredible. We are all closed up here in New York. I am outside of the city but looking at the trend lines it looks to get worse in the city then anywhere else on Earth including Italy and China. Hoping it will not be that bad but locally we are trying to get ready. Stay safe.


  5. As Ruth wrote above, it is interesting how we are getting the same human reactions, for better and for worse, around the world. Hopefully books and our bookish friends will remain a solace for us. Take care and keep safe Carol.


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