Our world. Yes, this place that never stands still but changes with the times – who would have known it will change forever on March 13, 2020 when WHO declared a global pandemic?
I discovered not one but many things about myself during this forced isolation. I like to walk – that is the contemplative me – drawing strength, as it were, from overgrown bushes, fallow fields, gravel and rocks, wild birds, small creatures. A big part of me resides in these things. But I also love to spend time in chatter and unbound laughter. Not to be with friends and family during this time was slowly killing that mirthful me. So, I took refuge in writing pieces as outpourings of that part most difficult to articulate; created poetry that served as an outlet to my feelings of utter desperation, an insane urge to fight the nebulous. Unseen to the naked eye, the plague is dangerous like untended fire and can rage through entire populations with complete disregard to life.
However, light will force its way through the tiniest of cracks. In response to our church’s encouragement to think of creative ways in which to stay positive, I made a placard which said – HOPE IS HERE TO STAY - and stood clutching it with icy hands in front of the lych gate on a dreadfully cold and windy spring morning in March 2020.
“Tomorrow will be beautiful for tomorrow comes out of the lake” said the poet Emanuel Carnevali
And, here is tomorrow. Our world is opening up. I met with a friend I hadn’t seen in years. What made her connect with me all of a sudden? Isolation digs up memories, makes the heart long for golden days that we are afraid are past, never to return. Resorting to months of on-line service, our church is now open for in person service. The first time I returned to church to attend in-person service all the restlessness and helplessness I had been experiencing seemed to melt away; it was like returning home after a long interval. My eyes flitted like a busy bird taking in the stained-glass windows and to my amazement they seemed to actually smile. Wow, I breathed, how can glass smile? And that wasn’t all. Soon, the walls, in their warm shade of terra cotta, seemed to fold me within its arms. I laid a gentle hand on the wooden pew I was sitting on – it seemed silkier to the touch.
Some of the ice that had formed around my heart during the pandemic began to melt. I felt a tingle, like when you are too close to an open fire, which soon turned into a mad rush, of something I couldn’t put a finger to at that moment; it began to spread through me. Moments later the truth hit me. Yes, hope is here to stay, I said to myself.
If we did not have to deal with loss, grief and confusion during the past eighteen plus months, I wonder if we would have found a newness in nature? A loss of any kind usually reveals an eagerness for consolation.
We visited Niagara Falls over the weekend, our first visit this year. The beauty of nature never fails to amaze and humble me. Trees, rivers, oceans, seas, hills and mountains – creation gives without asking for anything in return. Why, then, do we take, destroy, and want more?
Here’s an excerpt from my poem “Gentle Giver” that is one among many in a collection soon to be published.
Now is time to end rhetoric, posturing, histrionics,
Journey through healing, repair, redemption
Strive to save our universal mother.
After two weeks, COP26 is at last over. Will it be a success? We don’t know. Only time will tell. In the meantime, we need to do our bit.
Stay safe. Keep well. Remember to smile.
#ourworld #hope #nature
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