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What is and what shouldda/wouldda/couldda been

I drive over Salisbury Plain a few times a week for work at the moment and it is gorgeous. This morning particularly (Thursday), it was like driving into a Bob Ross painting. The colours were so fuzzy and vivid and exciting. There was fog on the hills, just falling down them, rolling into my windscreen and making everything all wintry and lovely. It made me think and I did get a bit sad. It stemmed from us having been to Imber on New Year’s Day.

              Imber was a village in Salisbury Plain, not far from West Lavington. It was taken over by the military during 1943 and people had to leave their homes, which ultimately were unable to move back into. Now the village is a training site used by the Military and no one lives there. It was sad when we were there. All we could imagine was the lives that had been there and the lives that would have been, had the village not been taken over. I had the same thing years ago when I went to a village in France called Oradour-sur-Glane, which was the site of an horrific massacre. I felt sad, so sad for what would have been if the incident hadn’t happened. I realise the stories or Imber and Oradour-sur-Glane aren’t the same but they are things that ‘are’ because of what happened and there are things that should/would/could have been.

              This morning, amidst a gorgeous landscape I thought of those shouldda/wouldda/coulddas, of which there are so many at the moment.

              People are still it in bits because of COVID and all the things associated with it, despite somethings tentatively starting up again. People’s experiences over the last two years have not been what they should have been. So many people have lost people or experiences that would have enhanced their lives and sadly for some people those experiences have been replaced by awful, life-changing events. Children have lost 3 years of ‘normality’ in their schooling- I am absolutely loathe to say lost learning, because not everyone has, but they have lost experiences that would have been better, that should have been better.

              So many lives, experiences and journeys over the last 2 years should have been better, they could have been better, and would have been better if things had been different. Differently planned or differently organised, or even differently legislated and actioned. While these things are done and we can’t change them, we can use that sadness, channel the losses and use them so that those things that ‘are’ become more like what shouldda/wouldda/couldda been to make the world that bit shinier and happier.

              I want to use my drives through the paintings from Bob Ross each morning to think about the warm fuzzies of what we’re doing to make those ‘shouldda/wouldda/coulddas’ into the what ‘is’ now! Good needs to come out of the lost lives and lost moments!

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