|Lighting up the chicken coop as a sign of hope and solidarity.|
There are moments when I feel very scared.
The news: the growing numbers, the overwhelmed hospitals, the caskets in Italy.
The weeks: one down for us in Nova Scotia, two more to go…and then two more…and two more…until weeks become months.
The work: disappearing, and no one knows when it will be business as usual.
The future: it’s naïve, and selfish, and hopeful to think about when we will get back to normal.
Business as usual. Back to normal.
To even use those phrases: A radical act of hope or an exercise in futility? This is going to get worse before it gets better, and out of that, I worry about domestic violence and suicide, food security and prescriptions, looting and home invasions. I am safe, I am well, and I know I will remain so – which frees up space in my mind and heart for those who are not, or will not be.
It seems foolish not to worry, it seems pointless to worry.
The news will get worse before it gets better.
These are the moments when I feel very scared.
I can’t allow those thoughts to overwhelm me. I work in my office, I watch the news – and then I go for a walk. A cleansing walk. I breathe in fresh air, I stand with the sun on my face, I listen to the birds.
As I took that photo this morning, at ten to seven, the birds were singing in the treetops, waiting for the feeders to arrive.
Feed the birds. Walk the dog. Scramble eggs. Watch a movie. Do yoga. Call a friend. Have a bath.
All we can do it take this one day, one week at a time, and not make plans for or assumptions about the future. The future is uncertain; in today, there is hope.
Which is why I turned on the Christmas lights hanging off the chicken coop. I saw a report on the Nova Scotia news the other night, and then a tweet out of Newfoundland: People are putting out and turning on their Christmas lights again.
Lights on for hope. Lights on for solidarity.
We’re not in the city, not many people will see our lights shining in the night, but they are there, connected to a power source so why not?
Why am I turning on my Christmas lights in March?
The coloured lights shining in the dark actually shine into our bedroom so they were the last thing I saw before I closed my eyes to sleep, and the first thing I saw when I woke up in the pre-dawn dark.
And there were cars on the road after dark last night, and cars on the road before the sun came up over the river this morning. Drivers thinking, “Why?”
And hopefully realizing, “Why not?”
With a smile on their face.
We'll get through this. I hold onto that thought whenever I get scared. We'll get through this.