Patti here. When chaos hits and you lose your footing, whether from fear, overwhelm, grief or feelings of uncertainty, take a breath. Remember who and what you love.
Take a breath grounded in those feelings. Let your mind’s eye embrace your spouse, your children, your grandchildren. Your friends. Whomever you love whether they be far or near. Let yourself appreciate that special flower in your garden. Your knitting, your favorite book. That car you so lovingly care for. Whatever it is that you love, hold it dear. Breathe the love into your heart and let the fear and overwhelm dissipate.
As the days keep rolling forward and the death toll rises, we hear sheltering in place works. The curve is flattening, if ever so slowly. And so we breathe in our love for each other and continue to stay at home. And we do so for longer than we first imagined. We do one more jigsaw puzzle, or weed one more garden bed. We find ourselves watching yet another Netflix show. Can we do these things lovingly? As we fill our days with things we might not choose to do if times were different, can we bring our care, our attention to each moment here and now? Maybe this is the lesson for these times: what we are doing matters less than how we are doing it.
Where have I been spending my love? I have been gardening nearly everyday during this confinement. Hauling manure and mulch, weeding out beds overgrown from years of neglect. I struggle to get my fork in the ground in a place where the weeds are growing in what used to be an old driveway but is now a flower bed. Nearly impermeable to my fork, I manage only a small bit with every try. Various physical ailments keep me gardening in short spurts. Garden, recover, garden, rest. But everyday progress is made and the yard slowly transforms. The part of me that remembers how I felt when I was younger and much more robust, wishes I could just work all day and finish these beds. But the reality is I can’t and so I have to find peace in the moment with my smaller pile of weeds and a smaller section of garden reclaimed. These tiny efforts done with love have come to symbolize these uncertain times to me. My small tasks are the tasks. I have no big tasks right now. When I accept this reality things become much easier for me to approach them with love. I lose the “what ifs” and” if onlys” and remain in the present. In the present life is remarkably good. Even with all the background noise and emotion, this present moment has much to offer and many ways to express my love. I only need to keep my awareness centered in the now.