Umar Riaz

Umar Riaz

‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…’ So begins Charles Dickens’ ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ and I’ve been thinking of these lines often during this period.

Since industrialisation, we as a species have proceeded rapidly to bring ourselves to ‘modernity’ – living and working at a fast pace with emotions, thoughts, feelings and experiences whirling within our systems as we work for the systems we have created. We have increasingly expanded into the Natural World and held other species captive. Now, the tables have turned and we are captive…and we must slow down and look around us and within.

It is a time for reflection and pause, and, consequently hopefully a time of realisation that we need our world more than it needs us. We will hopefully learn or re-learn the meaning of the simplest joys of our temporary time on this planet; an embrace, a touch, a kiss, a comfortable silence shared in the company of a loved one. We will hopefully reach out and give to those worst affected. We will hopefully treat our natural surroundings with the kindness, compassion and space they deserve. We will hope. It is the spring of hope IN the winter of despair.

May 2, 2020
Lahore, Pakistan