The peace of wild things
Spring officially arrives in 2 days although while out walking earlier today, I noticed an abundance of birds were chirping, the grass was greener today than yesterday, and daffodils were in full bloom.
The deer were out, of course, playing peek-a-boo with me in the woods. Some of them have what look like new babies, although it is early. But the new ones in the herd are so small and fuzzy, I can’t imagine they are anything but a few days old. Books tell me new deer aren’t usually born until April but there has been nothing usual about this year.
I posted this poem on social media last week. For me, it is the truest thing I have read lately. And I feel like I’m reading a lot.
My brain cannot comprehend that it was only last Wednesday, six days ago, that my school announced we would be moving to virtual learning. As I sat in the meeting, a sadness enveloped me that was reminiscent of when my father had cancer. Things were happening which were out of my control and fear settled in.
Oh I know, I never really had control, I learned that a long time ago. But when drama passes, when emotions settle over years, we easily fall into complacency and forget. In the middle of the meeting, with the words, “no longer meeting on campus,” “full pandemic,” and “for our health and safety,” complacency left the room and allowed fear to rear itself, larger than it should be.
I blinked back the tears, trying hard to engage in the rest of the meeting. These words were important but it was difficult to focus, so I leaned into the fear, let it fully envelope me, even acknowledged to the person next to me my emotional response. I whispered, “I have tears but I am not sad, I am scared.” He shook his head in agreement.
That was six days ago and now, everyday finds me looking at data; the scientist in my brain is analyzing each state’s new case numbers, new death numbers, graphic illustrations of the world’s numbers, as if I am a statistician and will discover some new, bright spot within the darkness.
I have turned to my favorite bloggers, hoping for a collective response to covid-19 (I know I should capitalize its name but doing so, for me, somehow gives it even more power) but what I am finding is their choice to ignore the world around us, to offer bright spots of light in this crazy time, as if the world isn’t changing dramatically daily and probably won’t be the same again. I applaud their hope but what I need is to know that the uncertainty I am feeling is the collective response.
What I need is to know my thoughts of fear and anger and confusion are not solitary.
So I will use this space, not as an escape, but as a place for one person’s record of how this tiny, unseen force hit the world like a wall of water, how we’re all watching it coming and feel as if we can do very little to stop it, how we’re coping in a world where schools are closed and children are now home for weeks and months to come. How we will handle social distancing and how the world will handle an economy on the brink.
As I type this while sitting on my screen-in porch, I hear neighbor kids hollering as they play outside. I hear a rooster crowing, well past the morning hour, and I hear adult voices rolling through the ravine, scrambled words following by loud chuckles and guffaws. I breathe in the normalcy of the moment.
I took a walk this morning, into the woods with the sun on my face and camera in hand, to remind myself that even when…, even when the human world seems to be shattering, there is still a world out there which isn’t.
Spring is still coming, flowers are still blooming, grass is growing, birds are finding partners and building nests, herds of deer are growing in size, trees are budding, and the sun is doing its best to be out longer and warm Earth a little more each day.
For today, and tomorrow and the weeks and months to come, each day I will, “come into the peace of wild things,” and “rest in the grace of the world.”
I hope you can too.