At the start of this pandemic, which feels like a hundred years ago, there was lots of brave talk about how we are all in this together, how we were not doing this alone, we can get through it, etc. etc. I did some of that, too, right here on this blog.
Cheerleading, or trying to reassure, or both, it kind of makes me think of moving.
You start strong, packing everything carefully in bubble wrap and newspaper, every box dutifully labelled, all very orderly.
By the end, you’re chucking sticky, half-used duck tape in with the dusty socks you just discovered behind the bed, along with the dog dish, two forks and a spoon that doesn’t belong to you, and the entire contents from the junk drawer that you haven’t cleaned out in years.
It’s messy; each day is the same and yet different, everything is unreliable, even if you have structure. Life is underscored with a feeling of unpredictability. The truth is, we are mostly winging it.
When you go out, it’s somehow both harder and routine to remember to take wipes, masks, gloves, to wipe down all the groceries when you get home and to remember, don’t touch your damm face.
You start longing for the olden days when you could just go out for breakfast if you felt like it, with people. Where you sat beside each other and talked, passed around the ketchup.
Of course, it could be and is a million times worse in so many ways for people.
No one wants to have to do this all over again in a few months because this freeloading virus keeps running rampant.
Still, in the midst of it all, there are things.
Today it was warm out, the neverending snow, the seemly permanent measurement of winter’s tenacity has vanished almost overnight, and I noticed tiny buds on the lilac tree.
Also, I’ve been feeling a curious, physical sense of light blooming inside myself, a steady glow of warmth radiating quietly through my entire body.
It surges and ebbs throughout the day, it comes with an urge to pray more often, and I do. I’ve brought out my crystals to keep beside my bed, and I’m burning the candles I’ve had forever and never use.
I wake each morning with the absolute knowledge that I wholly belong to the light, to listen more deeply, to pay attention. There is an invitation to trust that something good is unfolding, in some unknown way. I don’t know what life will look like after the virus grinds itself to a halt, but I do know that for me, it is leaving at least one gift in its wake even now.
Gratitude. There is food; there are clean clothes, a roof over our heads, a bed to sleep in, there is coffee in the morning, people to call on if things go south.
Friends and family.