Each day its’ hard to comprehend the true scale of Covid 19 Pandemic so contagious every human on the planet is at risk of spreading this virus & causing great loss of life. For now to protect many we must forgo our everyday ways of living life – our livelihoods, relationships, work, education, travel plans everything changed and challenged. The Urgency and message across the globe to ‘StayHome’ more paramount than any ‘wish’ we might have to continue on regardless. This monumental directive across the world giving rise to our many opinions, ideas, ideals, wants, needs, fears, criticisms and questioning. We want everything to return to normal and some will try to continue on as usual…. yet we are far from Normal as we look around the world – New Yorkers saying we were too complacent, now the horror is beyond that experienced from 9/11, with so many critically ill and dying from the virus spread, including treating medical professionals. In Ecuador sick ones are taken from hospital to hospital with no room to treat and return home, dying at home and no one able to collect the body, after days of heat having to place their loved ones’ body on the street. Heartbreaking and unimaginable and yet we must – as we will make the difference by our own responding.
‘StayHome’ has called me to reflect ‘what and where truly is Home’. Each day news from across many neighbourhoods and cultures, lands and oceans. The vastness of circumstance and situations in what constitutes Home – we see hotel rooms and cruise ships without a port, spacious stand-alone houses on tree lined streets, multi-story apartments of inner city or suburbs, huts high in mountain villages, slums of India, Bangladesh, Soweto, refugee camps near and far, and those many on the streets.
Just weeks ago I sold & farewelled my home, not sure where my next abode might be. This a life changing move from this place where much had been tended to over the years together and alone. As a youngster I was moved from home to home, family to family, school to school, country to country and felt the great insecurity and foreignness of many different homes, places, people, rules and ways. I often felt the foreignness within me, that had me continually adapting to those around and my surrounds. A place of unbelonging so often arose throughout my growing up years, which kept me confined within known rules and regulations, perceived ways of doing or demonstrating who I am.
As an adult creating home was high priority for security, a haven, and for family. A kind of incessant nesting within me, as I busily rearranged, repainted, procured items of comfort and homeliness. Even staying a night in a hotel I would make it home by unpacking and putting things in their place including hiding away an unsightly ornaments or items I considered unhomely. Little got in the way of my ‘Home Beacon’. My recent move from home perhaps untimely, certainly courageous and some thought stupid. Where was I going at this time in my life what was I looking for that I didn’t already have. Since a young one I have come to know the externals of life are often fraught, changeable, and all too often unreal or untrue.
Today in the World the directive to ‘StayHome’ dramatically impacting on all our lives in many ways as we adjust to life without its usual distractions and outings, daily activities, work, sport, plans, coffees or freedoms to go places. Home can be sanctuary, creative, thriving, secure and safe. Home can also be empty, overfull, cumbersome, a rut, a prison and for some dangerous. With home now as centre – we must recalibrate our lives from the usual known ways. Maybe some will take a rest, work on a creation, spend more time together or alone, be entertained or entertain on Screen. I suggest Also we are deeply shaken by the world events and whilst at home we will face ourselves and each other with questioning, differences and shadows. As we each will come to tangle with blame and shame, right and wrong, control and indifference, judgements and criticisms in this time of such change in our everyday lives ……
My Hope in writing this piece is to share my learning that it has been the challenges, losses, emptiness when sorrows, fears, guilt, insufficiencies are laid bare that have been my greatest Teachers. These times of surrender to the most difficult of circumstances that come to our lives will invite us to live more deeply from our hearts. A place where we are more able to give of ourselves and to others the real gifts of compassion, tolerance, patience, kindness, forgiveness, generosity, care, ………….All aspects of Love sorely needed right now to bring us through a Pandemic and into greater ways of Being and WellBeing.
We are not all the same in our ways, our homes, our lives, our beliefs …… We are all humans together and our collective Inner Substance will make all the difference in these most extraordinary, extenuating, challenging, uncertain times.
‘what truly counts is how we treat ourselves and each other’.