Keji Dixon: What brings me joy?
My name is Keji Dixon, I am 71 years old (I still cannot believe it). I live in south east London and have done so for over 45 years. I love spending time with family and friends.
My likes are my Christian Faith, drama, punctuality, classical music, reading, dancing, drama, laughter and having fun and equality and justice. If I could have my time again I would love to be a Human Rights Lawyer.
My dislikes are cold callers, lateness, rudeness, arrogance, and swearing.
Well, what a year it has been! We began this year with so many wonderful family members and friends who have now left us. I will not use the word “unprecedented” as I have grown to dislike the word as it has been so overused. Instead I will just say it has been the saddest year that many of us have ever known or will ever know. This is the reason why it was so very difficult to write about “joy”
Well “joy”, what can I say about you? I really was not looking forward to the lockdown one bit BUT, I woke up the first day to hear the chorus of birds singing so loudly as if they were telling the world they could sing better than we humans. The melodies were so beautiful that I went out into the garden wanting to join them. I now hear them every morning. Joy was taking early morning walks and seeing foxes strolling around the streets, birds flying freely and nature showing off its beauty. It was as if the Creator had said “My creatures, this is your time – make the most of it.” Joy was gardening properly for the first time. I grew tomatoes, large ones, cherry and plum cherry tomatoes. I grew baby spinach and spring onions. I still have a long way to go as my cabbages and beetroots never grew. The corn grew, but as I planted them too late they are still growing, no corn yet, nor will be this year!!!!! I remember very early one morning a robin coming to sit on the fence and watching me. He sat there for at least 15 minutes while I chatted to him before flying off to bring his mate, then they both sat and watched me. What a magical moment.
Joy was reading with my youngest grandson each day on FaceTime and doing English lessons with him, something we don’t always have time to do as he has so many activities and homework. I found joy learning Line Dancing on YouTube – that was so much fun. I learned new things. There are so many subjects with short courses that are so informative and easy to follow on Future Learn. My dilemma was which course to do first? I enjoyed snuggling in the armchair and reading whilst listening to classical music. So many books to read. So much research to do on the internet. Lockdown gave me a real thirst for knowledge. Whenever I heard of someone who lived years ago, someone who had done something unusual in their life or some event which had occurred I felt the need to know more. I have learned so much!
I was able to speak to family and friends on the phone and on Zoom. Hearing the laughter of others was joy and listening to all they had been doing. Television can never take the place of a human being. I had time for cooking new dishes. I experimented with meals that I would never have thought of cooking because of time and not enough confidence. My Thai red and green curries are delicious, even though I say it myself!!
Now I think of it, joy helped me find a new confidence, which I did not have before!! This is an eye-opener as this thought has only just come to me! I found joy in stripping wallpaper and getting the room ready to be painted, while listening to the many interesting programmes on Radio 4. Taking part in Church services online was wonderful as we were unable to attend Church in person.
I felt quite guilty writing about joy since so many thousands throughout the world have been lost to COVID-19. I think and pray each day about those grieving for their loved ones and as so many do, look forward to the day joy comes back into the world when we can hear the laughter of children and chatter of those around us without masks and social distancing. New joy will be hugs and kisses, playing in parks and meeting up with family and friends. But for now, joy is being alive and being able to do what we can each day. Christmas is just around the corner and I am sure some of us may sing “Joy to the World.” It will be hard to do this in 2020, so maybe we should wait till next year when we can sing it with real joy.
So, 2021: when you arrive and we are free, let us take coach trips to places we have never been to, visit museums, art galleries and get out and about as much as we can. There are so many unusual and wonderful places within the UK to visit. Come on, let us get out more when we can. Here’s wishing everyone a very happy 2021.