Books and nature as the greatest consolation

Skepticism is my first memory of this virus. In the Balkans people are specific, everything that is far from our eyes is far from our hearts. However, in a few months, the virus arrived in our country. I remember the day when the teachers at the school told us that we would not go to school for a while until the virus receded. It was Friday, the day my city's cafes were full. There is a special atmosphere in the city, everyone becomes more lively and can't wait for the weekend and night parties. This Friday was similar to all the previous ones, but what would follow after that was completely new and unknown. In addition to online classes, I decided to finish my script I had been working on for the previous year. Also I started walking along the beautiful river Morača, which I stopped visiting a long time ago. As I started to grow up, I moved away from river. In quarantine, I decided to return to it and I can say that these walks were an inexhaustible treasure of inspiration for me. I am from Montenegro and I am proud to have been born in such a country, carved in stone, surrounded by mountains and we have a wonderful sea. We represent a natural paradise on Earth. I am writing all this because I want to say one big apology to the nature around me, the nature that I began to forget when I started growing up. Did I become more spiritual or calmer because of those walks? I'm not sure, but one thing I do know was I was happy, and that's ultimately the only thing that matters. I go down to the river and sit next to it. The river is narrow, surrounded on both sides by a rocky bank, it is very fast and small whirlpools can be seen. There are more people around me, and I remember that when I was little, only we children played there, there were no adults. I decided to sit by the river and enjoy the silence for a few minutes. All the anxiety caused by quarantine and rapid changes disappeared and a sense of peace ensued. I just felt that there was still life and that it was around us, that it, just like this river, flows, constantly and undisturbed. Then I decided to listen to some music and sing, and then read poetry. I read a farewell letter from Virginia Woolf and there were moments when I seemed to feel how much she was actually in pain and suffering from her illness. I remembered my anxious and weeping nights, for it is probably in the nature of man to understand another's pain most easily through his torment. Then I started reading poems, most of them were poets from the former Yugoslavia, just their sensibility and their reflection on life is closest to me. I cried, laughed and felt alive. I was in quarantine, I didn't see friends, I was often nervous, but by that river I felt alive and my own. Books and poetry are my two great loves, but I am generally a lazy person and there was a period when I neglected reading and writing, however in quarantine I became aware of this and decided to correct it. For a start, I started reading for school. One of the best books I have read and thought about for a long time and I still often remember is the book "The Bridge on the Drina" by the great Nobel laureate Ivo Andrić. I am not ashamed that I have not read that book before, even though he is the only Nobel laureate from our region and one of the greatest writers of the 20th century. I think this was the right time for that. I devoted myself in detail to reading all the chapters and jotting down important facts and quotes. I came up with completely new life-saving insights. In fact, it was only through the novel, which describes the origin and events on and around the bridge through four centuries, that I realized that history and human destinies are repeated only through different forms, but their essence is the same. After the readings, I dealt with the question of human existence. What is actually true? Is life in itself absurd given that everything ends in death and that your life is no different or special from the people who lived before you, nor from those who will live after you? Is life beautiful simply because it is unexpected, which gives us the right to feel love, happiness, admiration, the magic of sincere touches and kisses? I believe more in the latter, but I do not know the truth, and I guess the beauty is in that ignorance. Many tears have been shed in the last few months because the dead have been taken in columns, people have lost their jobs, because children have become hungry, because they are more and more depressed and worried, because the world is becoming a bus that people can't drive. Watching people from my and other countries die, I realize that it's not just a common virus or flu, that it's not just a political farce, that it's our painful reality that we weren't ready for. That is why we can only rely on mutual love, solidarity and faith in medicine and in a better future.

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