One year ago now, our world as we knew it turned upside down and we are all still living with the uncertainty, anxiety and sadness that a pandemic world has brought us.
Familiar places no longer feel familiar to us. Businesses are shuttered- some forever. Grabbing a pizza or meeting friends for a coffee is no longer a matter of just choosing a time to meet up . Meetings of any kind with friends and even our relatives have been reduced to as few as 5 people depending on covid statistics. Our cities are now being referred to mostly by their current colour code indicating the level of virus cases currently active.
We have, no doubt , all reached or surpassed our tolerance for Netflix movie watching and either crocheted or knitted the comparable distance to the city closest to where we live. Most certainly, we have all cleaned and decluttered until we have thrown out or donated entire wardrobes, kitchen gadgets etc. to organizations that most certainly will benefit.
Yet, in the midst of lockdowns and uncertainty around vaccines and safety in groups, there is a certain part of us deeper than any surface pandemic effects may reach. While we may not feel always that we are responding to the challenges of this past year’s outer space in the best way possible, we all are learning something about our inner space. And while we may not even want or feel a need to discuss this space with others, this space may have become a place we have perhaps become aware of for the first time or found ourselves visiting with more frequency.
In any case, if we give ourselves to responding to these visits with true discernment and awareness while our outward journey has been temporarily interrupted, we may , at least in part, be grateful that such a catastrophic event may be providing us with a gentle opportunity to tap in to our more inward journey- a place that is deeper than any sadness, hurt, wound or uncertainty that the current outside circumstances bring. It is a place that does not remove our struggles , our losses or our sadness, uncertainties or vulnerabilities, but rather may help us find the strength to respond to them in ways that may be helpful and truly meaningful.
Dag Hammarskjold, former Secretary General of the United Nations once said “ the longest journey is the journey inward.” It is the task of a lifetime and perhaps a small reason to be grateful in these difficult and trying times.
Jane Ripley, April 07, 2021