By Mel White 

Healing in interesting times

On the Bright Side

 

March 14, 2020

An old curse goes: “May you live in interesting times.” Hmmm. Have we been cursed or what?

Well, I don’t really think so. As bad as things seem to be getting in these particular interesting times, there is always an upside as well… a bright side if you will. And more than ever I appreciate hearing some of the good stories that are coming to us in these days of confusion and fear and concern for our very well being.

For example, people in Italy have been staying home, self-distancing, doing whatever they can to stop the spread of our universal enemy the Coronavirus. But they are not alone, they are working together better and taking care of each other. They are even appearing on their front steps and balconies and singing together (while still maintaining that necessary distance) – thus enjoying both alone time and a new way to socialize.

In Venice, because not so many people are not on the waterways or roadways, the air is cleaner, the water is cleaner and once again attracting dolphins, and perhaps the weary earth is heaving a little sigh of relief.

People in the US, the ones who aren’t panicking and hoarding, are also finding new ways to help each other, from sharing food and other necessities at the grocery stores (so many stories of people buying more than they need and then seeing someone without and gifting them part of the original haul) to neighbors shopping for neighbors, stores opening specific hours for only the elderly and otherwise compromised individuals, to give them a fair chance at shopping. People helping people.


And there are fewer people on the roads here too, even in Tehachapi, which is giving our corner of dear old Mother Earth another chance to breathe a little easier too. So many Mom and Pop stores – especially here in town – are suffering because of lost business, and yet they are busy trying to find new ways to serve customers, and customers are busy trying to find new ways to support their neighbors’ businesses. “We are all in this together” is ringing loud and clear.

What is happening with this pandemic is hurting people and the world in ways we are still just discovering, and it is, in many cases, devastating news. But it is not the end of the world, at least not in the doomsday sense. Maybe it is the end of some of the bad parts of the world as we know it now – the end of greed and selfishness, the end of me-first or me-only, the end of hurtful acts against “the other” since this particular pandemic does not discriminate against anyone in regards to race or religion or color or creed or economic status or anything else. Maybe a little distancing can give us time to reacquaint ourselves with ourselves and those we hold most dear, and give us a little better perspective on what is really important in our time here on Earth.


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I am paying attention, I am aware of what’s going on, but I’m not panicking, I’m not hoarding. I’m trying to live my life the best way I can, and be as helpful and kind as I can be. And the way I’m wired, I can’t help but look on the bright side. Fortunately in this situation in which we find us ourselves, there are plenty of upsides to consider.

I particularly like this poem below, sent to me from online friend Judith. It made me smile and feel hopeful, and I hope it will do the same for you:

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply.

Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently. And the people healed.

And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

© Marilda Mel White. Mel is a local photographer and writer, cock-eyed optimist and co-owner of Tehachapi Treasure Trove. She welcomes your thoughts and stories at [email protected]

 
 

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