Now in the mists of a pandemic, I feel like many people have taken time to pause and reflect. It feels from my world perspective that there has been so much change. People have changed how they work, how their children receive their education, how we socialize, how we inform ourselves, how we exercise and find renewal. The earth has changed if you can believe half of the pictures that float across social media. Smog in cities has lessened, waters have cleared and animals have ventured out into the realm of people. Perspectives have changed. We’ve had to come back to our families, pull into our homes and face whatever that looks like! In some cases, it might feel isolating and limiting. It might feel chaotic and crazy and unmanageable. It might be filled with worry about money and jobs. It might be filled will feelings of unending time, almost a sense of timelessness.
So, what does it all mean? And will it all go back to the crazy go-go world we were living in- breathing smog and relegating nature to the “wild”, letting others educate our children, striving like crazy people for the all mighty dollar or status or career?
I personally hope not!
While there are certainly things I miss- hugs from friends, face to face conversations, a nice dinner in a restaurant, an opportunity to go to a museum or a movie or a play, there are also many things I have treasured.
I love not rushing off to work in the morning. Over the past month or so, I have taken time each morning to appreciate how nice it is to gently get out of bed. I have taken moments to wake up slowly. No alarm clock. Just waking with the sun (which is still pretty early. About 6:30 where I live), stretching and really appreciating the comfort of blankets and pillows and the softness of the morning. Watching the light play across the wall and floor, sound of birds waking up and the beginning sounds of the world also waking up. I take a moment here in this soft place to be grateful for this feeling of peacefulness.
I love the flexibility the days provide. I work but I get up often and water the plants or do a physical yoga practice to stretch my body, or practice and study the German I am struggling to learn or plan a new craft. So, the work in an in and out process and not a marathon of activity. It too feels softer, less intense and less demanding. I have come back to finding the joy in what I have been doing for years without joy.
I love the opportunity I have found to be creative. When there are too many hours in a day, it forces us to find thing that we want to do. I become creative. I bake, which I have always loved to do but have put to the way side because it takes time. I plan walking trips to the store to get ingredients. We try new tastes. We savor our food at meals instead of eating in the car or rushing to get to the next to do. I search out patterns for knitting. I chant new songs. I read new books. I write.
I love feeling more connected to family. There is no rush now when you make a call. There is time to listen and to ask questions. There is time to explore new ideas. Being so lucky to have zoom or skype, I can still connect and see smiling faces, watch grandkid play and see their school and art work. But I don’t have to rush. I don’t have the feeling of having to move on. I can be right there with them and really be in that moment. What a gift that is.
I love being able to be outside, now more than ever. I walk or ride my bike every day! My body feels stronger in a different way than those trips to the gym could ever provide. I breathe in fresh air and notice the flower in the fields. I explore new trails without the rush of needing to get back to something. I can luxuriate in the beauty that is on every corner. Now it is exciting to pass someone and just say “hello” across the path. Social contact! For after all we are social creatures! Last weekend, my husband and I hiked and after the hike a biergarten was open. It was fun to be in a socially distanced crowd, everyone with a drink and some food, relaxing after their day in the “wald”. (Woods in German). We all shared the connection of space and purpose.
I guess for me this time feels like arriving. I am not rushing to be somewhere else. I am don’t forsaking one thing for another. I am not trading one moment for the next. I am here. I am here right now. I am here and grateful for this moment. I am here.
Where are you?