‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’, I was told when I was young. I am no longer young – except at heart – and neither is our famous solo round-the-world yachtsman. But, like me, he refuses to count his life in years. He continues to do what he can do and enjoys the life he has, rather than worry about what others say he shouldn’t be doing at his age. So where is Jon Sanders during this world wide covid-19 pandemic? On the island of Saint Martin in the middle of his 11th solo voyage around the world. Try telling him to stay locked down at home just because a clock somewhere has ticked over and he is officially 80 years old and therefore no longer the person he was one minute before. He is expected to keep his social distance and no longer have a drink in a crowded bar or a meal at the cafe, with friends, after spending long hours repairing his yacht Perie Banou II, ready to continue his journey.
We know that time is a human construct anyway. The world has its own rhythms and, in earlier times, human beings lived by them. When the sun went down people went to bed, and got up again when it was light enough to work. When the temperature dropped and the rains came it was time to plant seeds. When the weather grew warm and dry again it was time to harvest what had grown. There were exceptions, of course. In the tropics the rains come in summer and the winter months are dry. Oops! I’ve just used a man-made measure to describe something – months. Our chronological system was invented for convenience in the first place. But even in the most regulated society there has to be room for exceptions.
Let’s enjoy what freedom we have. You never know when it might be snatched away.