I used to work as a teacher, once upon a time. It was in a school for kids who had behavioural issues. I remember one of the kids, a bright and rebellious spark of a teenaged boy, used to go home on the weekends to a place the staff called ‘respite’.
I always wondered why they called it that.
Anyway, after more than 15 days of consecutive, non-stop work, I’ve found a day off at home for respite with my wife and daughter. I totally get it now. Respite is a place, a state of mind, a time, even a zone. It’s where you go after being weathered by the storms of daily life. It’s a hot chocolate, a book and then the sound of my little girl breaking her mums phone.
On these few days off I’m going to relax, get back in touch with my spiritual self, listen to good music, eat good food, sit in the company of my best people and ask you all to try and do the same. R’n’r is most definitely NOT underrated.
It makes me think though, there are so many people out there right now who can’t look forward to the same soul healing warmth that we find at home. What if the place you had to go home to was a chill and lonely place? Worse still what if you had no home and after facing a blisteringly cold day in the street, had to face the prospect of finding an alley or bridge to sleep under?
Having just come off a shoot for work I’ll just drop a mention about the Warm Hearts Winter Campaign which is coming up. Every year Muslim Aid, the NGO I work for, reaches out to people struggling with the cold in the UK. This is usually people who are sleeping rough on the street, or the elderly who are struggling with energy bills and need extra care to protect them against the cold.
The shoot was quite gruelling (as most shoots are I guess) and my role was production managing and generally supporting the Director/Camera Operator. It was great to be on set with a team of awesome people, and knowing that the end result will try to raise awareness about the plights of the homeless and elderly is a great feeling.
The ad is yet to be edited but you can get more info (and perhaps donate) at the website: https://www.muslimaid.org/what-we-do/uk-programmes/warm-hearts-winter-campaign/
We’ll also be visiting shelters and soup kitchens over the coming months so if you’re based in London and want to join in and meet some great people then keep an eye out here: https://www.muslimaid.org/opportunities/volunteers/volunteer-opportunities/
I’ll just finish by saying that it’s great that I’m getting these few moments of respite and warmth at home. Time off, creature comforts and all the things we look to for our nourishment are important, we should neither take them for granted (and be grateful for them) nor should we forget that we need them from time to time. And in the coming weeks there’ll be some chances to share them with those that don’t have any so let’s try and embrace the spirit of the season.