Listening to: All the to-do jobs around the house calling to me at the same time
Outside: Clouds taunt with possible rain
What a difference a year makes.
|Long time, no see!|
In my last blog post one year ago, recounting an April visit with my daughter to the community park, since what feels like a geological age, I spoke about Being the Change. And here we are again, enacting change in an environment that really, really doesn't like humans right now. We are usually scurrying, meddlesome creatures, exploiting land and fossil fuels for our own selfish gain. And now we are stopped, stunned, and peering through our living room windows like pensive house cats, wondering who will go by next, what will happen next.
The birds are louder, the cars are less, the air is cleaner.
Our species suffers: 26,000 deaths from Coronavirus in the UK alone, as of 20 minutes ago, according to Wikipedia. People all over the world are mourning their loved ones, the ones who have passed, the ones who are fighting, alone, in their hospital beds.
Countries compare their death numbers like nervous, knock-kneed schoolchildren comparing grades on a particularly tough test: Who has done the best? Who has done the worst, and why? There really are no answers; there are different testing methods used, and numbers fluctuate and will continue to do so until this is All Over.
Which, of course, as we twitch the curtains at the windows, staring down the street or as far as we can eek out a view between apartment buildings and over slanted roofs, we can't foresee an Ending. We don't know when it will happen or how it will look.
For the first time for many of us, we are experiencing our first Major Crisis. For others, this is something Terrifying That Can Be Gotten Through. They've done it before: The Second World War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War. These changed lives, as our lives are changing. (But while they went to bed not knowing if their street would exist in the morning, we can at least depend on our Wi-Fi to bring us our favorite shows, news, food delivery and Ebay, holding out as best we can, giving us something to look forward to.)
We evolve to face the Unknown, which breathes in our faces, invisible. We are stepping up to it, putting our memes up on Facebook, bingeing on Netflix, ordering pizza delivery. We are joking, connecting in any way we can, via Zoom or Facetime and we are telling each other, "I'm in this with you."
So let's embrace the change. Let's applaud the NHS, those of us who live here in the UK. Let's applaud the legions of hospital staff around the globe, and anyone who must don gloves and mask and face-shield in order to do their daily work. Let's applaud ourselves for staying home and staying out of the way of essential workers. Hell, let's applaud the delivery drivers for that pizza. That pizza's getting us through this damn thing.
Let's slow down, learning along with our children since we are now their teachers; let's make those mud pies and play "pub" at the table in the back yard. Let's learn what it feels like to discover what's really essential, what really makes you happy, through all of this hardship. You may have lost your job, or you may have lost your wedding, your trip, your big 40th birthday celebration
In all the things that we lose, we must remember that we are all in this together. We mourn together. We heal together. Those good bones of this world are still here, that integral structure that keeps us solid. Those good bones are still here, and we're still inside them, and when we emerge again in an entirely new world - one in which we will wash our hands more often, or still wipe down the groceries upon entrance to the house, or stand six feet apart at all times - we will emerge deeper. Stronger. We will emerge thankful.
So that when our children grow up, we will tell them about the world from Before. They will hear our survival stories, our sad stories, and our stories of hope, and they will see that the world goes on, connections live on, and that we must always hold hands through the scary times. They will understand the impact of choosing to be kind.
|Lena hugs and whispers to her new brother or sister, Pumpernickel.|
April 24, 2020
We are all in this together.
So I ask you to write, reflect. Feel deeply. Connect. Connect with your departed ones. Commune, in any way you can, with your family and friends and feelings. Sing, dance, paint, cry. Bake and laugh. Mend and create. Learn and teach and share and rest. Change.
So when the time comes that we can gather again, our reunions will mean that much more.
Stay home, stay safe, save the NHS.
Happy Friday, everyone.