The sooner I make peace with that outside my control, and let go of the past, the sooner my eyes will open to the opportunities in front of me, writes James de Villiers.
My dad said he read that captives in Vietnam who accepted their circumstances sooner were more likely to survive than those who battled against it.
The theory is that those who accepted reality where more adapt to find solutions in their current circumstances, and possibly outlast their circumstances.
The past seven weeks, locked behind my parent’s black fence in small-town Ceres, this thought has kept me sane.
My circumstances do in no way compare to war captives, and I go to bed full and warm (a privilege few are afforded), but perhaps the theory’s lesson holds weight during this worldwide crisis?
Instead of fighting against a nationwide lockdown, and longing for life before corona where I could drink gin & tonics in Johannesburg, perhaps I have to learn to accept this new reality?
And as the green leaves of the trees in the street turn into a kaleidoscope of colours (autumn), and I remained confined to this home, staring at them from my bedroom window - and the sense of rebellion stirring up inside - perhaps all I have to do is remind myself to simply be grateful to be alive?
Because the sooner I make peace with my circumstances, the sooner I can start planning on the winter vegetable garden in the backyard, or become excited about cooking for my parents on Sunday evening.
The sooner I make peace with that outside my control, and let go of the past, the sooner my eyes will open to the opportunities in front of me.
Because, like the Vietnam captives, making peace might not change the world, but might help me (us) live through this unprecedented time, and one day possible thrive again.
- James a journalist at News24, Landisa curator, and lives in Johannesburg.