Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all.– Emily Dickinson
It’s a good time to hibernate.
I love my weekends of hibernation, especially in the winter months when the weather is cold, the sun doesn’t shine as bright, and the world gives more liberty to stay indoors and surround yourself with the comforts of home. A warm cup of soup. A cozy blanket on the couch with a good book. Or catching up on that Netflix series you’ve been aching to watch.
Winter gives plenty of excuses not to go out, to stay indoors and take care of the self in ways we likely don’t indulge in during warmer months.
But right now, there’s another reason to be in somewhat of a hibernation mode…
You know what I’m talking about. That subject, that concern, that fear that’s looming over us all. Coronavirus/COVID-19. It has created a fear that I’ve never witnessed before. It has forced us back into our homes with the closures of many public events, gatherings, and activities.
Here in my little corner of Florida, concerts have been cancelled or postponed, weekend open air markets have been closed, schools have been shut down for a period of time, and that only scratches the surface.
I just returned from NYC and the anxiety in the air there was at times deafening. You couldn’t walk down the street without hearing someone talk about this or that, concerned for him or her losing their job, giving their 2-cent advice on how to stop the rapid spread. Even in the quiet-for-New-York-City streets due to the mounting fear of being in public places, the chatter was all on the coronavirus and what to do now.
And I must admit, it has me on the edge of anxiety too. Honestly, how could I not be?! The news, the talk on the street, the multiple closings! It’s enough to make anyone completely nervous about going anywhere!
But since coming home and having to calm my head enough to curb the anxiety in my children (and myself), I’ve started to really think about things.
Yes, this is all scary.
Yes, this makes us all retreat.
Yes, none of us know exactly what will really happen.
We will all be feeling the effects from this for a long time, I’m sure. People are being laid-off from jobs because of closings. Others aren’t making nearly what they’re used to or need to to pay bills because of lack of business. My work isn’t quite as affected as others, due to my primary career being in the medical field. We hardly close for anything, and rightly so – people need caring for. But my husband is a stagehand, and stagehands all over the world are feeling the effects quite rapidly. Shows are being cancelled and the possibility of being out of work for a while is real worry. Taxi drivers, flight attendants, people in the hospitality field… the list goes on and on of those affected financially.
And definitely not to forget those whom this will hurt physically. Those whom have underlying medical conditions that puts them at higher risk of contracting the virus.
BUT … in all this despair, maybe there’s some good lying somewhere deep within. Maybe there’s something we need to tune into or hear through all the chaos. Maybe Mother Nature is trying to send us a message somehow – a message to slow down a moment and breathe.
Most of us are moving around so frantically much of the time. Getting here and there. Doing this and that. Buying this and throwing away that. Not truly checking in with the effects our personal whirlwinds have on the world around us.
Maybe she’s trying to say, “Stop. Breathe. Take a moment and check in with yourself and those around you. Do you know who you are? Do you know what you’re looking for? Do you know where you’re going? Do you know the world around you?”
I’m not meaning to sound like I’m brushing off what’s happening. It’s a very concerning time and I understand the severity of it all. Having just come back from NYC, I too am keeping a safe distance from those who might be more vulnerable to catching something from me, if I have anything. I’m being smart. I’m staying informed without feeding into the fear. But, again, I wonder if there is some good in this, despite the loss we’ve already experienced and most likely will continue to experience.
The good, you ask?
That moment of turning inward. Of self-reflection. Perhaps that moment you finally turn to that which your heart has been wanting to focus on but hasn’t. Music, art, writing, reading, baking, gardening, painting, crocheting, whatever creative expression that lives inside of you and aches to be released – but that which may not always be focused on and released due to the fact that we’re all running around frantically trying to get this and that done.
So for this week, when the world has come to a halt of sorts, take this extra time to do what makes your heart sing.
Paint that picture.
Write that book.
READ that book.
Bake that cake.
Create that garden.
(Yes, get outside if you can! Closures and cancellations don’t necessarily mean you have to stare at the same four walls every day. If you are in an area that allows, go for a walk. Spend some time in nature. Get some fresh air!)
Write that hand-written letter.
Call that long-lost friend.
Play that favorite musical instrument.
And don’t forget to check on your neighbors, families and friends. We’re all in this together. It’s a collective effort, globally, to stop the spread of COVID-19. Let’s all look after one another (from a safe distance, even) and make sure those around us are okay. Social isolation can be devastating for some. We are social creatures and need that interaction… unfortunately right now, it’ll just have to be without the hugs and physical contact we’re so used to enjoying.
And most importantly remember, everything will be okay. Have hope, my friends.
Sending much love during these uncertain times,