I had no idea what massive changes were headed our way when I took this photo November, 2019. It was a few months before everything changed in our world. We have since lost too many people and another layer of innocence and trust.
It feels too soon to look back and fully understand what happened, the physical, emotional and social effects (subtle, direct, long-lasting and permanent), and how we can grow from this in love and practical care of ourselves and one another. But, this morning I am remembering my grandmother saying, “You can add years to your life or life to your years.”
Time marches on for some of us. Kitties grow up and I am graying. And I am asking myself, what can I add to this moment? From this place and where I am right now?
Over the past few days I have let the light drain out of me like a leaky oil pan.
My little duck feet have all but stopped paddling beneath the surface of what you see.
I have found myself in the weeds. The still stagnant waters surround me in a slimy film of greens. And, nothing but small broken twigs show up as something to eat.
As I see it, I have but two options: to continue longingly staring, with these eyes of self-recrimination, at the sparkling-in-the-sun river flowing on without me, or, to close my eyes and float in the shade.
With still feet and busy mind, everything screams inside of me, saying, “You had no business coming to the river. You should have stayed in the pond.”
this is where I am. I can see and admit this now, at least to myself.
This is where the currents of God and my free choice have brought me, so this is where I will be. Where I will wait and pray between the ripples of my little duck soul and striving mind.
While walking the deserted beach, I prayed, “Please forgive me, God, for wanting a loved one’s struggle to be over so that she can go on home.”
I knew it wasn’t right of me to ask this. I usually affirm that God’s got this; that God’s timing is perfect; that I can not play God or question what is between God and a soul. But sometimes I slip and ask for mercy as “I” see it—to some degree, having more to do with my pain than theirs.
I have finally admitted to myself that this time in our world is not so temporary of a state as to just “keep a stiff upper lip”, or to hold my breath and wait it out. I am finally being honest with myself that all of this is bigger than what my usual tools of faith and service can handle. I can no longer afford to pretend that I have “got this.” I don’t. It is time to pull out all the stops of self care.
I believe this time, this very strange and terrifying time without borders or end dates, magnifies all feelings and circumstances that have been laying fallow—waiting for our attention and in care of our soul. I believe in these hours and days of isolation and stillness, what has been buried or obscured by busyness or distraction is rising—insisting to be seen. Noticed. Dealt with in resignation or protest with prayer and reaching out to others.