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A New Calm

The long-fingered shadows cut across the fields, adorning them with wide ribbons of darkness and light. As the sun slowly rose in the east, it inched its way over the mountains and rivers, and etched itself through the cities and farmlands, the way water color moves and spreads across paper when gently stroked with the brush. This morning is particularly peaceful, imparting beauty as the sky changes from the pink hues of dawn, quickly passing that misty morning grey and bursting forth directly into the blue. From the quiet, raw stillness, the undeveloped morrow gives way to birdsong, the occasional dog bark, and the distant wh-i-r-r-r-r of a shiny, green tractor discing its plot and breathing new life into a new season. 

These past months of Corona Virus outbreaks have seemed so overwhelming to me, so consuming. Since the Septic Shock experience, my brain freezes when it comes to processing information, and its been hit hard. Weeks of quickly changing  suggestions and mandates. The bombardment of dread and trajectories. The facts, opinions, economic woes and impending doom, so much I can scarcely take it all in, let alone process it. All I seemed to be able to do was to dwell on it. For a while I became very anxious, even to the point of panic attacks in the evenings. I know the many verses addressing fear and anxiety. They have been very soothing and comforting and full of truth. However, in all honesty, for me, sometimes getting my body to agree with my heart to agree with my spirit.... well, that isn't always so instantly in sinc or well aligned. I could bully myself ( as I often do) and tell myself how awful I am for having panic issues, or I can extend to myself, grace. ( as God so often does). I can  take a few deep breaths and try to shift my thinking. 

The first thing I had to do was to turn off the news. I appointed a friend to keep me informed of the really important highlights. All of the details were just too much. You might think that being uninformed is irresponsible, but for me, its the more responsible thing to do. The second thing I did was to asses my skills and worth. How can I help someone else? Who can I help? What am I good at? This has helped to transfer my mindset from fearful to confident. I often can't put my finger on why I am feeling fearful or anxious, but I can be confident of my skills and passions. These are the things I can do, like sharing my extra eggs, baking for friends, starting seeds to share with other gardeners or sew a dust mask. 
The last thing I needed to do was to ask myself, " What is good for me?" I used to think it was selfish to think about myself. Now, especially with some physical and mental limitations, I realize the importance of self care. Do I need some down time? A warm bath? A cup of tea? To connect with a friend, or a gentle walk? If I don't care for myself, I am unable to care for others. Pray, Breathe, Assess and Do.

As I am able to calm myself back down, I am able to get up early and appreciate the sun coming up. I can rejoice with the birds as they offer morning worship, and I can drink in the idea of a new day dawning. Do I long for the day when I can hug my friends and family, have coffee with my dad, and celebrate all of the missed festivities? Absolutely, positively, YES! But I will be mindful of today, look for joy, and hold tomorrow firmly in my heart.  


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