Right now, my back yard is a source of sanctuary. Need the peace.
The Coronavirus or #COVID19 is highly contagious, spreading death, disease, and fear all over the world. For all of us in some way, it has caused outright panic with grocery stores running out of toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and food stables. There have been widespread cancellations, economic setbacks, extensive handwashing, and handwringing. No movies, no concerts, and no parties.
Social distancing is the new normal. Right now, we are all in our corners, waiting to see how things “shake out.” Fear is trying to rule, but we are all looking for positive, peaceful ways to cope and to connect. Prayer, meditation, and the emergence of spring have helped.
I am following the example of Grace, the tabby cat, I inherited from CCL. She is content to do her morning meditation in my back yard. She also joins me when I am seated on the living room sofa – “her spot.”
My church holds daily prayer calls, many religious institutions and fitness centers have moved to online support, and Zoom “happy hours” are being held on a regular basis.
In my Brookland, Northeast Washington, DC neighborhood, we are, as in most of the nation and the world, practicing “social distancing,” but folks on my block join in a daily “Dance Party” party. One neighbor uses his Bluetooth speaker on his porch to blast music while and we all dance either on our porches or up and down the sidewalk of our street. Today he played several songs from “Frozen” for the children and some Disco jams for the adults.
There is also the wonderful DJ D-Nice, who holds a daily jam on Instagram (@dnice). The party has a strong celebrity presence, including Michelle Obama, Rihanna, Oprah, J-Lo, Lionel Richie, Quincy Jones, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Demi Lovato, actor Donny Wahlberg, and Chuck D.
Music is a universal healer.
Grace the cat gets her groove on with DJ D-Nice too!
It’s estimated that domestic cats spend 15 hours a day sleeping. Their physiology demands that they sleep to recover from activity.
Reverend Dr. Howard John Wesley, the pastor of one of the Washington DC’s area’s largest churches, Alfred Street Baptist Church, is on sabbatical until Easter. The church calls it a season of #selah, the Hebrew word for “break” or “rest.” There have been some who questioned the pastor’s decision, announced late last year. However, I understand the wisdom of Reverend John Wesley’s choice. Rest is the foundation for everything else and provides the seeds for spiritual renewal. Following rest, we can come back better than before. Modeling the pastor’s decision, I have drawn inspiration and peace from taking time to rest.
Today where I live the temperature reached 99 degrees. Yes, it’s summer. It’s hot but it’s summer and it’s a good time to read and reflect and to find some peace by the lake, on the beach or in one’s own back yard.
We have heard a lot of criticism of those who value “peace at any price.” We’re told those folks are pushovers, they never stand up for themselves, etc. etc. Sometimes their silence, refusal to buy-in is just another form of warfare but often it’s a form of protection.
For some, peace is not on their agenda. There are those who because of their own loneliness and despair seek disruption through mean-spirited comments or unfortunate jabs or just plain cruelty. Words of anger, actions of anger, envy dominate the course of their existence. They are the “reality TV” stars of their own personal and ongoing drama and unfortunately, they seek to take others hostage.
Peace is valuable to our spiritual sanity. Seek it every day. Say no to systems and people who try to make you part of their petty dramas. Recently, I saw an episode of the original “Star Trek” where a race, known as “The Organians,” seem to take abuse from the Klingons who have “conquered” their planet and appear unconcerned when the Klingons start taking their citizens hostage. All this, much to the dismay of Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise who arrived on the planet to help. Eventually, the Organian leaders, using mind control, quietly overpower the Klingons and the Federation ships that are about to go to war. Then they tell both factions, “that’s enough we’re tired of you” as the Organians visibly change from “humanoids” to spirits of light.