On Thursday evening, I finally noticed that I had been burning my candle at both ends. I had hit the proverbial wall. When an event that I had been planning to attend Saturday was cancelled, I had an opportunity to recalibrate. As I crossed the item from my calendar, I noticed that I could, with just a little more schedule wiggling, claim 72 hours of rest time. Rest is not easy for me. I tend to use extra minutes in my day to catch up on a project here or fit in a little correspondence there. But my intention for 72 hours was to find ease, to put some distance between my body, my mind and the insistence to be productive. I was attempting to practice non-productivity. Over these 72 hours, I did not set my morning alarm or follow my regular morning routines. I have not insisted on anything, except for being non-productive. As I observed my impatience and eventually relaxed and found stillness, I regained some balance. I feel rested.
Over these same 72 hours, our community has been formulating a response to the coronavirus in amazing and beautiful ways. Individuals, organizations, schools, and businesses are prioritizing community health and safety over any other agenda. People are choosing to stay home, grounding themselves in order to provide a measure of distance and protection to unknown individuals among us. I have never seen this kind of compassionate, selflessness on this scale in my lifetime. I am falling in love with humanity anew. Business as usual has been interrupted in a most extraordinary way.
There are disappointments, inconveniences, and real hardships involved in this interruption. The impact will not be evenly distributed amongst our population. Those who are most vulnerable, due to age, illness, or access to resources will be hit the hardest by the virus and the response to it. It is not fair. If I stop there, I am swallowed by the shame, sadness, and anger that always arise in the face of inequity. If I trudge on, it is hard not to notice that there is also an incredible opportunity here.
Yes, there is injustice. Yes, there is fear. Yes, there is even death. We will all be touched by deep, heart-opening loss. But there is also great love in our collective response. I am encouraged by that. I am praying that we may use this time to recalibrate, to begin to move towards a world that is more just, more sustainable, more aligned with our true nature. I do not have any answers, but I am sitting with openness, curiosity and a strong belief in our capacity for change. Hope lives here. I offer it to you:
As we slow down and encounter our fears, worries, and regrets:
What possibilities will we find in the spaciousness of our newly collapsed schedules?
What love and peace will hold us aloft?
What belonging will soothe our isolation?
As we spend more time in our homes and local communities:
What bridges will we build?
What support will we offer to others?
What support will we need from others?
As we notice the impacts of our lives on the lives of others:
Will we claim our participation in the web of life?
Will we remember the legacy of survival that ensured our own lives?
Will we remember that we will one day be the ancestors in someone else’s story?
As we recognize our depth of responsibility to the interconnected human family,
Will we also notice our interconnection with all living beings?
Will we notice our interconnection with the living, pulsing earth?
Will we notice that we are, in fact, one?
The lily and tulip spears nudging through the barely thawed soil in my yard are a prelude to the emerging season. May we also enter this new season as neophytes, open to the promise and surprise of our own unfolding.
May you be well. May you be safe. May you be healthy. May you be at peace.