Almost a Religious Experience

Not having actually been outside the front door for almost three weeks, the excitement and anticipation was building. The whole family were ready to go out, even the dogs were eager to get going, with their leads attached to their collars.
Everyone had changed out of their pyjamas and hair brushed, teeth cleaned, we ventured out of the entrance which had kept us almost prisoners for an eternity.
Emerging into the brilliant sunshine, shielding our eyes from the brightness and adjusting to the glare, like convicts being released from their captivity.
Glancing around taking in the street and the familiar houses, it seemed comforting that nothing had changed, despite the frightening confusion that the world was suffering from.
The evening was surprisingly warm, for April. At least the weather was being considerate and it was uplifting because of its warmth and the sun’s brilliance. Although there were hints of dark clouds in the distance.
Taking a seat on the bench outside the bay window, we began to look around us to see who else had risked the scary world, to come outside as well. We were gladdened to see that almost every neighbour was standing outside their houses. Yvonne, who lives along, in her 80’s, stood across the road from us. Frantically waving and mouthing hello to us. Mary and her husband, who normally only go out to play golf. Our immediate next-door neighbours, Will and Caro and their little son, Jack. We all stood around for a few minutes until the witching hour turned to eight o’clock.
We started to clap, along with everyone else and listened to those who had pre-empted the activity and taken out saucepans and spoons. Some were cheering and whistling, the intense emotion could be felt in the air. Cars were hooting their horns and the noise rose to a crescendo.
We clapped and clapped until our arms started to sting and then we clapped some more because for a single moment everything seemed alright in the world and we could fight this thing together.
As a humanist, not having faith in anything spiritual or psychic, the next thing that happened, as we began to slow down our relentless applause, we will remember for ever.
The sky had started to fill on one side of the street with dark clouds, but the sunshine was still streaming through and suddenly a beautiful, inspiring rainbow appeared. The hairs on the back of our necks immediately stood up and tears sprang to our eyes. It was definitely a sign, as the rainbow had rapidly become the emblem the NHS’s fight against Covid 19.
The applause and cheering increased in volume and intensity all around, while everyone struggled to find their mobile phones and started clicking away at the phenomena.
For those who had faith, it must have been a sign from the heavens to tell us that we were all going to survive this atrocity. For those that didn’t have faith, it made them wish that they had.

Sandy Bryson 501 Words

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