I was filled with grief this morning. It hit me: what kind of times are we living in?
I had just come back from town and the market where I “stocked up,” upon recommendation of a friend from my village. I’d run into her in the zócalo and she told me the sobering news that on Monday our tiendas are going to be closed. I have felt quite fortunate to live where I do during this time. If the local stores close, that brings the Coronavirus scare even closer to home than it already is.
I returned home and sprayed my keys, coins, backpack and shopping bag with the lavender disinfectant I’d made. Next order of business: I took off the clothes that had perhaps touched someone on the combi or brushed against a shopper or vender in the market – and hung them on the line in the sun. Then I set to disinfecting the produce I’d purchased. This time, not just to kill any bacteria from water the fruits and vegetable might have been sprayed with. At the top of my mind was that surely the venders had touched the fruit or greens and who knows if they might have it? In batches, I let the produce soak in the tub I use for that. Fortunately, the mountain spring water that comes via garden hose was trickling sufficiently today to at least disinfect my food. Washing clothes would have to wait.
As the vegetables soaked, I sat on my front step to eat the fresh slice of whole grain blackberry pie I’d treated myself to. The sun glistened on the dark purple fruit that had grown in nearby San Juan. The earth felt cool on my feet, the sun warm on my thighs. Horses came by and stopped to pull at leaves, rattling vines along the fence. A moth with fancy design on its wings took pollen from the lavender plant on my left. Meanwhile, a striped bee with wings ablur was relating to the small cedar on my right.
I felt humble joy and grief that even at this rough time, I could engage with such beauty and goodness.
This morning in my meditation I realized that I have an inner tyrant. It is the wild child I have known, but today I met the harshest, coldest, angriest, most demanding and unhappy aspect, yet. It reminded me exactly of the small boy, Colin, in the book "The Secret Garden." (Synopsis here.) He was mean and temperamental and the house staff that saw to his needs were afraid of his rants and violent tantrums in which he would often make himself sick. He was such an unlikable character at the start, but with love and care and tending, he warmed, softened, blossomed and flourished. Today I’m reflecting on what caused him to turn so sour, and more to the point, what about my inner little girl? How do I tend to her pain and loneliness retrospectively? And how do I come home to her now?
Such is the grief I feel today. Confronting my inner tyrant and the fear and estrangement happening in the world around, I wonder how the inner reflects the outer and vice versa. How hurt and lonely is the earth, and are we as humans? How have we left ourselves, left one another, been left?
How hurt and lonely is the earth,
and are we as humans?
How have we left ourselves,
left one another, been left?
What anger and rage and attempts and control to shake and wake those in our midst, and even our very own selves are we experiencing without and within now? What do we do to care for the earth, one another, ourselves now that we’ve arrived where we are, at this break, this crevasse that has opened up on the very ground we walk on? The earth we have taken for granted - not so much, now. Is she angry? Is she lonely? What does she need to be acknowledged and respected really? Not to appease her, like giving the child having a tantrum a cookie. Not to act with false obedience as an attempt to manipulate, like Colin’s maids in "The Secret Garden." But to give her due respect?
As within, so it is without. How do we heal our wounds and sorrows from past behaviors committed and received?
Within. Without. Between.
And you, do you dare? Do you dare say no? I invite you to share about your journey and experience at this time in the comments below.
So that we can reflect, process and share in community, I've created "How to Skillfully Manage These Times We're Living In," a mini-course to help you navigate these times. Learn more and sign up for this interactive mini-course here.
What do we do to care for the earth, one another, ourselves now that we’ve arrived where we are, at this break, this crevasse that has opened up on the very ground we walk on?
Robin Rainbow Gate
I help midlife people and beyond to find their inner power, health and well being through slow living
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