A Glimpse Ahead in the Days of COVID-19

In every home I’ve lived I have found a trail.

In my current home, it is a wooded trail— the Mississippi backwaters on one side and a junk yard on another. I’ve worked to ignore the latter. Although I appreciate the trees and the river, this trail is my least favorite of all the ones I’ve walked. And so I found another one that goes mostly through my neighborhood to a dirt road circling an abandoned lot edged with pine trees. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve taken to sitting under one of the pines, the one that now has a sign that reads: No Trespassing. Also ignored.

But today I needed the backwater trail. It is a short trail, made a bit longer if I take the narrow, tree root, moss filled one along the rivers edge. I took this route. On my way back to the neighborhood I noticed another trail with fresh black dirt and took steps. To my surprise it extended beyond the trail I have known and further, extended not only my walk but my time with the trees. As it ended in a familiar place, I felt grateful for the creation of a path I had wanted since I moved here.

During COVID-19, other than moving from panic to calm, panic to calm, I’ve observed people in my life and the ones I see on my essential runs, and notice how they are responding to this pandemic. My father, for instance, finds hope in the blades of green grass sprouting in a newly dug out hole in the ground. Another laughs loudly with the gas station attendant saying, “Well you know we are all going to get it.” My mother texts daily from her assisted living facility, “Is everyone at home now?” Or today, “Prince Charles has the virus.” Sadly, others have become more self-centered, ego-centric, individualistic and shut down.

As for me—today, on my walk I found a new path that shows me the life road I am currently on. The soil is fresh. It has not been traveled yet. It comes as a surprise, and yet offers what I have been seeking for a very long time. It tells me if I venture to take a new path, even while things are falling apart and feel unstable, I will arrive in a familiar place, feeling grateful and changed.

I wish for all us to be guided and changed for the better, while knowing there is loss and unimaginable grief, known and unknown to us.

Stop Trying to be Grateful.

Source: flickr.com via Pete on Pinterest

The other day I made a list. The idea to do so arrived spontaneously.

I will write down everything I am unsure about—all of the issues and questions, currently outstanding, which remain, for now, in the mystery. 

 

As I made the list, I was amazed at how many unanswered questions I have about my life. I would imagine I am not alone here. But, I did wonder how many had some of the questions I had, especially in mid-life? Will I have a home again—and when and where? Will I have friends? Will my children recover from our accident? Will I find work? Will I finally be able to sit down and write my books? This barely begins the list.

As I finished, many pages later, questions and unknowns still loomed upon the rolling hills in my mind. But now, there was space between all of it and me. In this space, a glimpse of compassion for myself arose. I could see why my brain feels fried and fuzzy. Why I am carrying myself a bit too tightly. Why I just might not be fully myself. Why my creative life suffers.

I posted my experience, briefly, online. Why not try it for yourself, I said, and write down the unknowns, which are probably, continuously, swimming around in your mind. Someone commented: “How about putting the energy instead into all the things that are good in your life?”

I was offended….Continue reading here.