Cocooned in my house with my family, I alternate between calm, despair, and panic..and back around again. I struggle to resist the siren call of vitriol and resentment as the nation lurches through these uncharted and unprotected waters. I find myself praying silently multiple times a day and simultaneously counting my blessings. Keeping the darkness at bay and remaining steady during this turbulent time, is a full time job. Inside there is an unrelenting drumbeat of uncertainty, suspense, desperation and without constant vigilance the apathy and fear will surely drown us all.
All around the talons of worry, resentment, and sorrow lick at my heels but there is a moat around that fear and that is faith, resilience, and grace. I don’t know what lessons are to be learned from this abrupt halting of our lives? I don’t know the path forward out of this surreal and historical pandemic? I know the earth is tired and perhaps even the people, plants, and animals are tired too.
My family and I previously moved at a breakneck speed, my sons strewn here and there with sports, social media, activities, friends, school….living. Maybe we weren’t really appreciating the moments as we ping-ponged to the next new thing. Constantly leaning forward already looking away from the present into the future of what’s next? As the people have stuttered to a halt, the earth and all its inhabitants are benefiting from peace. I suppose we are to take this time to catch our breath and see what we have collectively built and is it sustainable? To appreciate all that surrounds us, instills, inspires, and relies on us. To bow our heads in gratitude, hope, and faith.
Without warning, we are brought up short, life planning is put on hold. Senior year in jeopardy, no sports, proms, activities, no friends to hang out with. Work life on hold as my husband at work, is still considered essential, we move hesitantly forward. How to get through this minute, hour, day, and now…gulp, month, without turning into a snarling, sniveling, depressed mess? I did the usual and pulled out the speeches about “digging down deep, remaining positive, keeping a routine, and using this time productively.” My son’s listened but were entirely skeptical as only teenagers can be. But as time progressed I realized this was different, collectively and globally we are all holding our breath. This is unprecedented.
I have been forced to exhale and relinquish the foolhardy notion that this is within my control. I can’t ease the uncertainty of the future. I can’t think my way around this painful reality. I have to accept it and adjust and frankly, that requires less pontificating and more purposeful actions. I have to be here in this moment sharing all of the feelings of loss, and grief for people I have lost, hopelessness and fear and see it all through a brighter, larger lens. I have to fan the flames of hope. I have to live the example of resilience, strength, and triumph.
I have thankfully, stopped long meandering monologues of hope and perseverance and simply began to appreciate what is here, right now, within my reach. Blessedly and gratefully there is my family, our delightful dog, our home, our yard, our DIY renovations, and our gardens. Turns out almost everything we really need, everything that we really love, is right here in our own backyard. While we are separated from loved ones, beloved friends, our social and work lives…we are nevertheless, home.
Home where hopefully peace, gratitude, laughter, prayers, and blessings abound. I will forever remember that this pandemic didn’t break us instead with God’s grace, we are stronger. We have accepted and aligned ourselves with the necessity of pausing but will continue to look forward while staying vigilant to the preciousness of the minute, hour or day.
I pray everyone is doing well and staying safe and strong.