Living to see and experience a pandemic is something that has left me at a loss for words, but not in the way I expected. Everywhere we turn right now, it seems we are being tempted to fear.
The hoarding, the quarantines, the closing of businesses – it is so much. Life as we know it has come to a screeching halt. It’s downright eerie, this panic and quiet desolation. And for good reason, might I add. If we want to live to see the other side of all of this, this is undoubtedly the way through. It is not this that I have come to question, but something more. Something deeper. Something we are at risk of missing if we are not willing to look more closely.
The question, as always, is what are we to make of this? For again, as always, the answer is deeper than what we’re given at face value.
Have we been sentenced to cabin fever, or a permission to slow down?
To be cooped up, or to rest with our families – the very ones we have committed ourselves first and foremost to?
I wonder if our lives have become so rushed and distracted that we’ve lost the ability to see the ordinary, everyday beauty right under our very noses. It is all too tempting to slip into “FOMO,” to deceive ourselves into believing we are missing out on the spectacular busy-ness we have so accustomed ourselves to.
But what I’ve found over the last couple weeks of what I thought would be extended time “cooped up with nowhere to go, nothing to do, and no one to see” is how misguided my perception has been of what is truly spectacular.
We were created to be, to experience, and to know deeply the extraordinary, yes. But maybe we can use this standstill in time, space, and activity to redefine that word, rather than living in fear and dread of what it looks like to live “without.”
If our bodies and souls are nourished with food and the people we love, after all, are we really without?
Maybe the extraordinary has been here all along and we have simply ignored it, swept it to the side, in the name of bigger, better, more.
May we look up.
May we keep doing our daily, ordinary things – brewing our coffee, preparing our meals, working (accepting whatever form that comes in right now and releasing those parts that we cannot control), cleaning our houses, folding our laundry, bathing and snuggling our little people (did you ever stop to notice the preciousness that is their bedhead?), taking our vitamins, drinking enough water, eating well, supporting the smaller businesses and creators who work to bring beauty and good into the world so that their worlds can keep spinning too.. the list goes on.
And for the love of all that is good, wild, and holy, may we step outside. May we breathe in the fresh cusp-of-springtime air, smell its beautiful flowers, touch the moist, fertile earth it all comes from, and remember that it, too, is what our creator has formed us from. May we prune our gardens, simple or grandiose, remembering the importance of shedding what is dead, unnecessary, or both, to make space for new life.
There are so many things – so many sacred things – right in front of us, if we would only look.
Yes, we are whole right now. As is. The world is not stopping – it is our pace and perception that are simply being held under a magnifying glass. May we have the courage to truly look at and make the space for what we find this close up.