The prince has kissed the blog and awakened her from her seven year sleep. Suddenly there is something to say.
Wake up world, then slow down.
This pandemic has forced us to stop dead in our tracks and listen, think, go within, and dig deep. 16 days in captivity now but being a bit of a recluse who is fueled by creativity which I never seem to have enough time for ... I don't mind this shelter in place. Mike and I have promised our pleading daughter to stay home and take every possible precaution. So we are doing our best to keep that promise and stay well.
From my bubble I've seen incredible silver linings, glove clad people helping others ... sharing food and supplies and leaving fresh eggs, homemade bread, and veggies from ones garden on doorsteps. Kind people are running errands for the elderly or those unable to. Finally families gather around dinner tables again, heads bowed in prayer, I like to think. They set up the card tables and huddle over jig saw puzzles, curl up and read books ... ultimately sick of being held captive by our TVs and devices stuffing our heads with fear and panic. Quiet moments bring insight. Children stay inside to help with baking, to learn to sew, to make potholders from loops and looms. Paintings get painted, poems get written, scarves are knitted, texts and email make way for something meaningful, the handwritten letter; that dying, elegant form of correspondence. What a beautiful gift to find a handwritten letter in one's mailbox. Dogs look at us adoringly, rest a paw on our knee and beseech us with devoted eyes, telling us to trust, that it will be alright.
It's said that times like these bring out the best in people and the worst in people. I've only seen the best, for the most part. Humankindness at it's finest. I find what I've always believed to be true ... that beauty is born in the face of adversity.
Or our friends and neighbors who, finding the bread shelves bare in the markets, have been the grateful recipients of my husband's beautiful homemade sour dough bread.
Yet how can I even begin to point out the silver linings born from this catastrophic and fearful time without appearing to minimize or seemingly overlook the suffering and deaths that so many have succumbed to with this coronavirus? It has stolen lives and left a trail of broken hearts in it's wake. And there will be more deaths, more hearts wrenched and aching beyond repair.
What shall we do, those of us who survive? God has put us on a big Time Out now, this shelter in place. Or the Universe, or The Greater Force or whatever you choose to call that which is bigger than us and guides us. Let's just call him/her/it Fred, for the sake of discussion. Fred has a captive audience now, having sent us all to our rooms for the big Time Out. You go to your room and think about it, World.
So how do we change and evolve? Because after every catroscopic, horrific event that we have faced in our lifetimes, we have circled the wagons and come together to show Fred that we are human beings filled with compassion, love, and kindness. After the Oklahoma City bombing, 911 for which there are no words, the heinous slaughter of small children as they sat in their classrooms at Sandy Hook.... the list of atrocities, which is unbearably long, brings out the best in us as we respond to the call. We dig deep and Fred is happy. We pay it forward, we build monuments to remember those who's lives have been sacrificed so that we might evolve as a human race, we give our hearts to strangers who need us, we make promises to Fred ... lots of promises. This horror we have lived through while others have not, has changed us forever, and we have the scars to prove it.
This is the tricky part.
Sooner or later, we return to our fast paced lives. We are racing through airports. We are sitting in traffic, late for appointments, hurling expletives. Our kids eat chicken Mc Nuggets in the car for dinner as we ferry them from school to dance class to soccer practice and back home for two+ hours of homework.
We forget to talk to Fred, to ask him to continue to guide us. We forget that we were supposed to evolve as human beings after the last big Time Out, and that what we learned was supposed to stick. We are the ones who survive with eyes wide open and hearts not broken so that we might see what needs repairing. Pretty sure that Fred doesn't shine the light into the dark corners of our rooms, only to show us how to be kind, compassionate human beings temporarily ... until the next atrocity and then the next big Time Out. And repeat and repeat.
As we shelter in place now, let's not let our hearts shelter in place. Let our hearts run wild without precautions, seeking Fred, who guides humankind to evolve and become enlightened, and do what we are meant to do on this planet.
So that beauty is born in the face of adversity, and lives on and on.