When the coronavirus pandemic hit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world in March this year, we were mandated to confine to our apartments or houses. The stifling room environment every day made me look for a way to get some fresh air and just be outside, safely, from time to time. Our house doesn’t have a garden, a terrace, a balcony, or a patio but it has a rooftop.
That random day I set foot on the rooftop to sunbathe, after realizing that I’ve gotten pallid, was the day I discovered another set of mundane wonders I never knew were there.
Going to the rooftop became a craving. It also became my most-wanted space since, not only because of the fresh air and its go-to place offer for a break but isolation from crowds while being able to run, walk, play badminton, watch the sun sets or rises, drink coffee or tea, and marvel at the doves and other birds cloud the sky or simply hover over on a hot day.
Thank God the rooftop is big and wide enough to do many activities. Well, this is just an ordinary rooftop covered with dust; some metal panels on the side; unused pieces of furniture; and a few tar butts. The quarantine era has turned this spot into, other than a craving, a haven for my itchy feet and mobile nature nevertheless.
It has such a familiar vibe we all can feel and relate to. No wonder so many people around the world were brought together up on the rooftops during the height of this pandemic to pay tribute to our frontline workers. This endeavor was called “#ClapBecauseWeCare“. People applauded, cheered, and banged pots and pans to express their gratitude to our essential workers particularly in the medical field.
This rooftop is now my kind of go-to spot whenever the urges creep in: bathe (for Vitamin D) run, walk, sightsee, breathe, play badminton, marvel at the doves and other birds clouds the sky or simply hovers over on a hot day, and, yeah, supplicate! The most favorite among these is catching the tail end of the sunset. That’s what I meant when I said breathe.
This outside space is now where I feel like time seems to slow down. I needed a place like this—somewhere I can peacefully digest the changes that entered our doors. I’m just so glad I come across this part of the house. Those changes, collectively, are now a culture. It was hard to accept nine months ago, but it’s all there is. Might as well take it and leave the complaints behind.
The urban life has come back for most countries. Well, not fully but at least…For us here in Riyadh and other parts of the world, vaccination against COVID-19 has already started. This is a big step towards the looming better days.
Until then, let’s not forget that the rooftops have provided us with a sense of tranquility, control, and normalcy during the lockdown days. Living through this pandemic opened my eyes to the fact that they’re not only a place for my itchy feet and mobile nature a few months ago. They meant so much more than that when people around the world used them as a special place to do that act of goodwill — #ClapBecauseWeCare.
In case you haven’t been to your house, apartment, or even the office’s rooftop, it’s high time for you to do so. It’s high time to revisit it if you haven’t been there recently. It’s high time to rethink of how to utilize the space. Remember, there’s always something beautiful out of the mundane. You’ll sure see a thing or two of these mundane wonders. Sunsets, clouds, streetlights, and sunrises will never look better than from the top of a roof for starters.
#ClapBecauseWeCare: World cheers for frontline workers (csmonitor.com)
Photographer captures New York’s spirit thriving on rooftops in a pandemic. Watch (hindustantimes.com)
Best Rooftops For Social Distancing In New York City (essence.com)