I don't know how to start this thing, everything is so weird.
It is the Monday after Easter. Yesterday was a beautiful day and today we are right back to cold, dreary, gray, windy and damp. April showers bring May flowers, though; and it's good for all the gardening I did yesterday.
Which gets me to my point.
Around Easter, as a kid I was always reminded that nature rules .... it’s the springtime, the time of year that gives lie to the illusion that things are dead ... brown and the gray yield to pink and blue and yellow and green. My parents made a ritual of taking pictures of all of us kids on Easter Sunday or our First Communions among the tulip beds in Lincoln Park.
This time of year, we show our faces to the Sun, as the buds do. We all open up, the flowers too, and show each other what we've got.
But now, the people are in quarantine, so every day's another day.
But now, we're inside, and we can't go out. It's upsetting our natural rhythm! It's throwing us all off balance.
Nevertheless, there is a predictable rhythm to the natural universe and like it or not, we humans follow. What goes up must go down, what goes in must come out, what goes under must be revealed. It's just the way it is. If we don't follow, as individuals or families or societies, trouble surely occurs. So how do we follow when we are being commanded to do the opposite?
It seems as though the shock of last month has been ceding to a kind of "settling" into something very unfamiliar, but necessary. My chest isn't tightening up so frequently, but I'm finding it crucial to tend to the garden and order my day. I'm calling it "down-shifting". As we settle in this month of April, staying conscious of our connection to the outside world, and the natural rhythm of the days and seasons, can assist us to orient to this forgotten (and to some, unknown) way of being. Settling is different from collapsing; settling is allowing a event to take place, while steering gently. Settling is a conscious process. Collapsing just happens when we don't stay aware, and it's extremely uncomfortable.
So while we're deprived of our freedom to walk around, go from here to there and mingle in public places, we can still lift our faces to the Sun. We can look out and appreciate the Dogwoods for showing off for us, and the Tulips for popping their heads out of the dirt for us.
We can order our day, roughly, to line up with the rhythm of the universe; get up in the morning, go to bed at night. Eat at regular times, say hello to the friends and neighbors. Maybe we can get our hands on some thyme or basil seeds, a little potting soil and a few little clay pots, or an egg carton. Put them in the windowsill and in a few weeks, put them in bigger pot. Maybe we can look around, really look, take some photographs .... make some drawings and use a little color in them. Maybe it's a good time to write a poem and share it with somebody. Or raise baby chicks. Or learn to knit, or play the bongos .....
It's a good time to get conscious ... because in Consciousness there is a choice, whereas in overwhelm, there is no choice. In Consciousness there is art, connection and hope. And rhythm.