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community
10/05/21
community
10/05/21
Luz Flash!

By David Lugg

The bars and restaurants are open




Luz Flash!

By David Lugg

The bars and restaurants are open


Don’t you just hate it when you lose your keys? It’s one of the most frustrating feelings when you know that you had them but they’re nowhere to be seen. I can picture them in my hand this morning. I’ve not even gone outside today so they can’t be too far. Probably.

My missing keys seem to be just one tiny part of a far larger picture. We have been reading on social media about how the pandemic has led to a loss of our rights and a loss of freedom. How we have been unable to do the things that we have taken for granted for so long.

Well, please allow me to be the bearer of a small piece of good news. I’m pleased (and excited) to announce that the bars and restaurants in Portugal have now re-opened. Another flicker of positivity in an ever-growing light at the end of the tunnel. I thought the social, fun side of me had been replaced with Zoom meetings and online beer chats. But no, I was wrong.

The air is now filled with the sound of happy chatter, interspersed only by laughter and the clinking of glasses. It is unrestrained and unshackled. It is an absolute joy. Smiling faces sit at (socially distanced) tables, nursing cold drinks in the hot sun, whilst grateful bar tenders and restauranteurs wipe away a bead of relieved sweat from their freshly-furrowed foreheads. The Algarve has re-found its vigour. Its spirit has returned. Yet was it ever really lost?

You get the feeling that this could be one of life’s more enigmatic lessons - something we think we have lost is simply something we have not yet found. It may have been with us all along but we just needed a little help to see it.

To explain, step forward Saint Anthony – the patron saint of sailors, pig farmers and, most pertinently, the recovery of lost items. Born in Lisbon in 1195, It is said that he performed miracles in finding lost property, even lost people, but reading between the lines I feel he is a symbol for faith and for hope. If you look a little harder, you might find what you are looking for, or perhaps find something that you never knew you needed.

Using the spirit of Saint Anthony in a practical sense, our enforced lockdowns have brought out new-found skills. People have learned how to paint, how to sing, how to bake. There are countless stories of kindness shown from selfless volunteers. Many of us have found more time to spend with our children, to watch them grow – and that is something which can never be lost. And we have found a sense of how important every day is – to reciprocate and be nice to people.

So, although we must raise a glass and toast the re-opening of a much-needed industry, let us take a moment to reflect on our new-found skill or new act of kindness. For many, the lockdown has given us a fresh perspective on life and it is up to each individual on how to act upon it. I must stress that I am not trying to downplay the seriousness of the past twelve months, but as I said, how we proceed from here is a matter of perspective.

Okay, it’s time for a gin and tonic at one of the newly re-opened bars. Oh yes, I almost forgot - I found my keys. They were in the back pocket of a pair of shorts. I never thought to look in there. It turned out that all I needed was a different perspective. Thanks Saint Anthony, I’ll buy you a beer.



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