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3 minutes reading time (655 words)

Seeking Wisdom in Troubling Times

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We are being ‘awakened’ in new ways to the interconnectedness of all humanity and the ripple effect of that interconnectedness through our actions. As a response to the unprecedented effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus global pandemic that has affected every one of us, people are finding creative ways to give expression to their feelings through poetry, music, and art.


ERUUF held its first online Evening Vespers Worship Service Wednesday via Zoom. The service was a wonderful opportunity for our beloved community to be together and pause as we rested in music, readings and prayer. The opening reading was a poem called "Lockdown," by Brother Richard Hendrick, a priest in Ireland. I share that poem below and my reflection.

 

Lockdown

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.


While we are practicing a new norm of social distancing, in the midst of all that is so challenging at this time, the natural world can also bring us some respite of body, mind and spirit. In fact, we are being encouraged to enjoy being outdoors with mindfulness. It is a beautiful time of year with trees and gardens displaying their spring colors, and nature’s sounds resounding day and night.

Late last night I was sitting on my porch listening to the night sounds. I heard sirens in the distance responding to an emergency. Then I heard the nearby calls of barred owls singing -- 'hooting it up' -- while ducks and geese chimed in with their voices. For me, in that moment, I was aware that the juxtaposition of the call of sirens and nature's calling were echoing the words shared in this poem. May we remember that we are always encompassed by Love. And, may we feel that embrace of the greater Love as we meet each day anew with gratitude, kindness and compassion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncertainty
Emergent Love
 

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