There is a sense of emergence in the air, of something making itself known. As we gain more confidence here in the UK and see the end of the pandemic, it feels like the end of a phoney war. We have focused our attention and resources on dealing with one set of issues whilst another, more extensive set of problems, from climate change to dysfunctional capitalism, have been gathering pace.
It feels a little like when we realise our circumstances have changed, like going from primary school to secondary school, or moving to a new country when we have to come to terms with new surroundings, different cultures and a new language.
Barclays Bank tells us that we are on the cusp of a spending boom as big as that after the second world war as the money not spent during lockdown fuels a post-pandemic binge.
It is a time of questions and observation, a time of prehension, taking hold, seizing, or grasping as we feel our way into the unfamiliar.
It will take time for the sheer momentum of the “solution” sellers to abate. The frantic, excited assertions that their system, or process, or programme will make us all wildly successful regardless of our circumstances.
What happens next is something we cannot delegate or outsource. It is very individual, and what works for one will not work for another. It is a time to stand back and observe, talk with those we trust about what we see and what we want, and critically, what we leave behind.
The pandemic has been a wake-up call, but what is happening is much more significant. There are real opportunities to learn from this last year, recast our lives, and leave behind the things we now know we do not need.
It is time for a period of quiet reflection, calm observation and orientation, before moving forward in what may be a very different direction.