As I sit down to write this, I’m still in the afterglow of the March 29th virtual service with The Foothills UU Church in Colorado. The heat is off, and some of my doors and windows are open, while the wind blows wildly outside. I think spring is really here!
On Sunday morning as we went through the Tongan (a form of meditation), I recalled my favorite part of our own services, that sweet time when I follow the sound of the singing bowl down into my consciousness into the present. It was a reminder of what I cherish each Sunday: the time to greet and hug friends, the quiet time of the church service, the message that challenges me to think beyond my daily life and concerns, and the warmth of our coffee hour when I can speak to my many church friends about their week.
The online service also reminded me of the anxiety that we are all feeling, and the many ways that it affects us, and how we deal with it. Because for each of us it is wildly different.
Each day as I watch the numbers rise and listen to the news (a bad habit I formed about 3 ½ years ago), I realize that CoVID-19 is an event that will affect us in ways small and large for decades to come. Hopefully this is a once in a lifetime event, but we cannot be sure of that, since the scientists have been warning us that the melting of our polar icecaps may release things that have been locked up for a long time. Just as the climate changes affecting our wildlife and flora, it WILL also impact humans – the top of the food chain.
As this week started, I was hearing a more cynical tone in the news, but by the end of the week, the media seemed to be moving into a place of acceptance and a focus on all the ways that we are pulling together. I heard many stories about the folks who are turning this tragedy into an opportunity to be in community with those around us: the folks sewing facemasks and feeding our caretakers, the parents and children sharing moments of triumph and love, the car parade for the young girl coming home from her last chemo treatment, and the trooper doing a dance recital with his daughter.
Many of these acts of kindness and consideration are being shared via our social media. How many more do we not hear about because they are happening in the world outside of social media? Also, the media seem to be focusing more on the victims of this disease rather than on the missteps that we have taken; I think it’s a reminder of how well people respond world wide to disasters. Yes, there are those who will try to profit from the misery of others—but they are far outweighed by those who come together and do whatever they can to help others.
In the days and weeks ahead, I hope we can all focus more on the small good things that WILL come out of this tragedy. I hope we can enjoy this time of forced seclusion or forced togetherness, knowing that it will end. And mostly I hope we reach out to our treasured ones, near and far, and let them know the impact that they have had on our life.