Tis true. During the past seven months, we have learned to live with new limitations and boundaries… facial masks, physical distancing, minimal contacts, no gatherings, and losses that we couldn’t have imagined. We are now in our slower living style and noticing. Noticing small kindnesses, how good we feel when we can have family contact (at whatever distance), learning new skills with our new found time (bread baking, gardening, learning a new language…)taking walks and enjoying hikes and the woods and waters more than ever. Cautions we are taking are both to safeguard ourselves as well as to protect others. We are learning and using new language (pandemic, COVID, masking, flatten the curve, bubble, quaranteam, zoombombing… you get the idea).
With all the adjustments, there have been moments of unexpected pleasure. Let’s consider how we appreciate our gardens, a socially-distanced walk with a friend, quieter family times. Speaking for myself, I am living with fewer “shoulds” and “have-to’s.” There is a new found forgiveness related to both expectations of others as well as expectations of self.
Unexpectedly for me, I’ve received requests for Vigil readings, done virtually (thus far by Zoom) and in locations that I likely would never have traveled to do a reading… California, for instance! I was concerned about how a virtual reading would work, after all, I love standing in front of a group, no matter the size, and reading poems and telling the stories around them, all the while having eye contact with those present and having a sense of where the group was at emotionally with the content. I would miss that, I was sure.
You know what? Settled in my chair, in front of my screen, with my Vigil book in hand, it took no time for me to come alive, to be in my groove and to feel both the passion and compassion that are a natural part of what I love doing best… sharing stories and poems of what has become so deeply meaningful for me. Audiences have been grateful, volunteers have been inspired, community folks have found reassurance. Being able to give to others in this way nourished my soul. I am deeply grateful and, when a Vigil reading comes to an end and we bid our adieus, I feel so very fortunate; my heart is always full to overflowing! For me, it’s the upside of the pandemic’s downside. Yes siree!