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April 2020

Everything is Harder than It Used to Be

Glimmers April 22, 2020

Dear Friends,                                                 

The finches’ yellowness increase day by day. Their morning visit to the silo of seeds is filled with song and calm, wings and wonder. I think I’ve been taking them for granted…these little friends had become part of the backdrop of my window on the world. But not today.

Everything is harder than it used to be, everything is more intense. Everyday Life has been distilled into This Extraordinary Moment, and it is Exhausting.

I was so grateful to see a reminder of Maslow’s Hierarchy – a staple of Psychology 101 – with an arrow pointing at Safety and Physiological needs, noting “You Are Here.” It isn’t just me! What a relief! We are sharing this life-changing experience, trying to make sense of it…trying to survive it.

“I’ve spent weeks hanging out with myself and I am so sorry to every person I have ever spent time with.” Facebook friend

In the midst of lessons in a solitary lifestyle, we are bombarded with images and messages of discord, hope, fear, heroism, anger, loss and love. How do we navigate through it all? My path must include grief. I cannot wait for this to be “over” to cry, for as we know we have no idea what tomorrow will even look like. I cannot stall my sadness until its my family member with the Covid-19 diagnosis, for every soul is related to me. The weight of sadness is everywhere. I have learned enough about loss and grief to know I must trust my feelings and give them space.

Yesterday, I climbed into the woods behind our house, so grateful for the natural world. I watched a brook coming down the hill, the water turning this way and that depending on where the rocks were positioned. I could see little ripples as the water pushed its way through a narrow space, I listened to the sound it made. I listen now to the words of John “Juniper” Robertson, OEF, adapted into poetry form by Shoshanah Kay, OEF

“What do I have to fear?
 My path has been prepared for me.
 It is a path built on love.
 My ancestors, our ancestors, have lived through really rough times.
 And the hope and knowledge of the
        Love at the center of the Universe
        has brought them through.
 Spring is all around me in New York City.
 This pandemic makes it obvious that I don’t know.
 But, in fact, that is my every day.
 I don’t know what is coming, what is just around the corner.
 Living in this “I-don’t-know” locates me in a place of listening.
 Listening to the struggles of those around me.
 Listening to fear, to anxiety.
 Listening to the birds, to the signs of spring.”
As the finches’ color gets brighter, something is shifting in me as well. I am changing – sometimes against my will,  sometimes aware of God’s grace. Inch by inch, feather by feather, I adjust to this new reality.  May I experience an intensity of awareness for the gifts in my life, as well. These finches, for example…they bounce from perch to perch, flap their winds to protect their favorite spot. Their bright yellow presence pops against the newly green grass and reminds me to look a little more closely at the life all around me….they remind me to breathe…with one conscious breath I open my heart, and assume that in spite of all the change around me, the God I know, is God.* 


With love, Lisa

*With gratitude to The. Rev. Dr. Molly O’Neill Louden, Celtic Worship Team Facilitator