We are living in strange times. I think it often and I look for glimpses of familiar as the hours pass in a day. As the days have turned to weeks, I find that I feel caught in a space that feels foreign. I don’t want to get used to wearing a mask and when I am not wearing it I feel like I am missing something. I am aware that too much news is not good for my anxiety or peace of heart and I want to stay informed. I long for normal and I am aware that normal may not be what we used to have. Time will reveal to us how COVID-19 shapes us, not only in the immediate, but also for the long term.
As these days have come and gone, I have been intentional about living present to what I am thinking and feeling. It is a season where going numb or ambivalent can happen without even noticing when it started.
I have been pleasantly surprised how the gift of my senses have helped me to stay above the anxiety and restlessness. Don’t get me wrong, I have bouts of that, but I have been able to pass through them quite quickly so far.
I have become keenly aware of the color and beauty that is around me.
The smells of a good candle, fresh flowers or a bath bomb. The colors in flowers, sunsets, sweet potatoes and beets or the depth of red in the cardinal at the feeder. I have enjoyed looking at my photo album and feeling the joy, sorrow or the peace that accompanies the memories of the photos.
Staying attuned to my senses has allowed me to stay present with what I am choosing to feel or focus on.
I believe what strikes me most is that in the rhythm of life before COVID-19 I had a routine that didn’t require as much of my intentional engagement. I believe I lived present and aware to myself then. I have learned new ways in the last weeks to live with intention in how I experience the fullness of life around me now.
It takes a different kind of engagement to meet the eyes of a face that is mostly covered by a mask. I have encountered waves and grins and words of greeting from so many who pass by my house on a daily basis. I have read words that bring sheer joy to my being as others step out to encourage strangers with notes and sidewalk chalk messages.
These are strange times. And in the strange are pockets of goodness and blessing. I hope that you are able to pause and breathe deeply, notice the color and the smells, marvel at the taste and listen for the sounds of hope.
I hope you will be able to see the goodness and beauty that is popping through the looming large strange times.
Blessed Be His Name!