The birds are singing as I read about the number of deaths in New York today from Covid 19. I feel some relief as I listen to the calls of crows from tree to tree. Sorrow weighs heavy about the many difficult deaths, and deaths without loved ones beside the bed because of infection risk. My intention is to keep my heart open to the sadness as well as to the fear. This is a time of difficult confrontation with all the things I think I need to have in my life and all the activities I think I must do.
So, I try to recognize and then allow the heartbroken feelings to reverberate in my body. And as I watch and question what I really know about any of this experience, I begin to realize once again that I am creating the meaning and reactivity in this moment with my mind. I anchor into my place on the earth with my body and my breath and my awareness of not knowing. Repeatedly I return to the practice of gratitude for what is here right Now -- the forsythia branch from the garden slowly budding out in the warmth of the kitchen, the quiet street out front where neighbors can call to each other from their yards instead of competing with the traffic noise that usually surrounds the local breweries.
Mama Earth is slam-dunking us into the reality of climate crisis. So maybe lifestyles will change with this challenging lesson of the coronavirus. Maybe we will all question the "normal" path of working so much and so hard to accumulate more and more. These days are a bit surreal and disoriented without our usual routines and distractions. The uncertainty and fear trigger old memory networks of trauma big or small. Maybe we will all learn to look inward and face the old patterns of anger or depressive collapse, the ghosts of our old emotional wounds. Then perhaps we will feel more kindness and compassion toward ourselves. Maybe we will begin to appreciate our capacity to handle the chaos of disruption. And maybe that kindness will expand to beings we love, beings we don't know, beings who give us a hard time, and all beings on earth and throughout the universe.
We all know the only way through this is love, sweet love. (The deep rich kind of love that feels and smells like newly dug earth, not the superficial kind as in Hallmark cards.)
As Naomi Shihab Nye says in her beautiful poem..."it is only kindness that makes sense anymore." May we all be kind to ourselves by limiting screen time and news reports and instead, connecting with our loved ones, and by finding our own anchor that helps us weather this storm by remembering to relax and breathe and find some moments of stillness.