Extraordinary times bring up extraordinary feelings. Most certainly we have lived through an extraordinary year. This pandemic, this sequestering, has been unlike any other time in my life. I remember the day our collective reality changed, March 13, 2020. The studios where I taught yoga closed. Businesses in town closed. A week later, on this first day of Spring a year ago, we were just beginning to wrap our minds around how to manage ourselves and our lives while wearing masks and maintaining distances. The Plaza was empty ~ no cars, no people, everything shuttered, closed down ~ and it went on like that for weeks. We surrendered to the reality of this changed world. The natural world had sent us to our rooms.
We were all in it together. The whole world. Though apart, we were united. A sense of brotherhood, sisterhood, humanity as a whole emerged. And as the weeks went on, the planet, our earth, was healing. There were stories and pictures that began to emerge of skies that had been thick with smog now clearing because of the lessening of air pollution.
Within as little as a few weeks Himalayan mountain tops were seen for the first time in decades, freeways in LA were empty of cars, and city skylines were once again visible in Kathmandu, Los Angeles, Paris and Manila. The earth was healing, recovering from the results of humanity's impact.
I have hardly driven my car, needing to gas up only once in the last 4 months. The slower pace has been such a gift. And that is simply amazing to me since I live in such a small community in Northern California with comparatively minimal traffic exposure and very little need to "run around". Yet being relieved of the necessity to drive, even to and from the studios where I taught, has been so deeply welcomed. I've had more time to reflect on my garden, my loved ones and even myself.
I've had more time to listen. To listen to others. To slow down and actually hear the meanings behind the words, as well as the nuances. To ask the questions that have arisen because there has been time to pause and give my attention to others. Time, to gaze into the eyes of my furbaby, Stella. To connect and let her feel my presence as I feel hers. Small things. Time for phone calls to friends and family...time to make connections, and maintain them. A time to deepen in...to myself as well as with others. For me, this time has been precious.
For me, connecting through Zoom has been intimate and personal. The willingness to show up in this virtual way has been intentional in a new way that I have deeply appreciated. To see the familiar faces close up on the screen has been heart warming.
As the varying parts of our world begin to open up again, I wonder how this will impact our planet. Have we learned anything from this time of "being sent to our rooms"? Will we once again begin to rush around, busy and with less time to stop and say hello?
I will take things slowly. That is my intention. I will continue to teach online for those who wish to join with me in our virtual commUnity. There will be meetings and yoga classes in the parks or perhaps the beaches nearby. Yoga outdoors in the sunshine! Meetings, sound baths, pot-lucks and gatherings. But for just right now, I cherish this time of introspection and depth.
And so, from my heart to yours,