Finding calm in dark times
"It’s one of the reasons that I don’t lose my faith in humanity at times like this: the air is thick with care. This is when we feel our human connection most powerfully. Despite our horror, we do not turn away, but instead turn back to witness suffering again and again, feeling ever more helpless."
Thank you so much for this reframe, Katherine!
Sometimes when I’m feeling close to despair over what’s happening in the world and know I still need to do all the usual things to take care of myself, instead of turning away from the world’s suffering while showering or cooking or climbing into a soft bed, I turn toward it and imagine that I’m doing these things for the people who can’t. I imagine some bit of the nourishment or comfort I’m receiving passing to a child in Gaza, for example. I’m not saying this has some magical effect in the world, but it has a magical effect within me - within my anguish, a sense of love and connectedness blossoms. Maybe that’s a small thing, but if we all lean into a bit more love and a bit more connection, we lean into a kinder world.
Today, I did seek out the horizon on a stretch of road in a rural area that I love. Along this road are several massive oak trees that stand like guardians over the barren fields. Their enduring beauty overtakes me, and tears come to my eyes, and I am at peace in this moment.
Thank you for this. Have been sick this week, which provided extra time for anxiety to creep in. Am off to grab a stone and a furry friend after a bath.
As a hearty New Englander in the US of A , I pride the four seasons and their offerings of seasonal shifts. From inside our dwellings the seasons cast light from the variety of trees and render landscaping voices wafting. i nest into various places , corners and perch in other chairs or sofas sometimes rearranging the floor plan to harken something within that wasn’t available for me in a previous season. This seasonal movement of our interior belongings captures another perspective from within our intuitive nature as I gaze and gasp at the out of doors. Always near by are my notebooks and mechanical pencils that infer a new verse for another layer of rest from the seasons gone by and the one upon us. Blessings for hearty wintering ahead.
You light the way Katherine May. Thank you.
I loved this, Katherine, as I find myself navigating uncertain times, even as I live my privileged life.
Thank you for reminding me to practice my usual outdoor observations and trying to focus on the awe and enchantment of the natural world which is my home place.
My Eyore tendencies pop up way too often!
Thank you so much for this. Such helpful reminders... and I feel less alone remembering we are all muddling through together. I keep going back to Thich Nhat Hanh these days. I’m reading his book, Being Peace, and it is good medicine for my big and small angsts and fears these days. 🦋
Really connected with your post! Thanks for writing all this to help all of us feeling the same way......