Watching for the Rainbow

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In these difficult times of peril and challenge, we have an opportunity.

Yes, I know we’re all feeling vulnerable and powerless. We’re all scared and worried. We’re all sad and discouraged. It’s mighty hard to see how things will ever be “normal” again.

But we can either be swept up in the panic and fear…or we can use this time to grow our hearts, broaden our compassion, enrich our deep care and appreciation for others, and be brave.

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Separated from my Sweetheart for these last 12 weeks has been one of the hardest periods of my life. The constant worry about his fragile health (and mine), preparing of our beloved little desert home for sale (as millions are out of work & the economy is in free-fall), and being totally quarantined here while he is there has been challenging, to be sure. But not compared to the thousands and thousands of others who have lost their lives, their loved ones, their homes, their jobs, their children’s educations…their hope.

Things happened so suddenly and unexpectedly that we were all blind-sided and have had to scramble to re-configure our lives within the rapidly expanding new realities of a global pandemic. It seemed inconceivable that a plague could sweep over our world so quickly, changing everything in a flash.  As it turns out, most of us were very poorly prepared, in almost every single way.

It has certainly been a moment to test our faith.

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While others have been using this unexpected “stay at home” time to clean their closets, learn Italian, paint the bathroom, bake tasty treats, teach the dog new tricks, or write the great American novel, I’ve been using it to do some serious soul-searching and re-evaluating of my life.

The hectic pace of my life “before the pandemic” afforded me little time to do this serious internal cogitating and, frankly, I always thought of it as a sort of “someday” project–like sooo many of my craft and home improvement projects!

Now, there’s no excuse. It’s time to figure out what I want my life to look like “after the pandemic” and to re-prioritize what I think is most important as I craft a new path for myself, using the lessons I am learning now.

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One of the many unexpected blessings of this time has been the profound humbling it has brought to all of us. The gratitude for little things. Appreciation for the beauty of nature, the sharing of music, the way books can transport us away. How precious our lives, families, and homes are. How nature heals itself if humans stay home.

We are seeing amazing examples of resilience and wonderful kindnesses shared by people around the word. We are discovering new and exciting ways to communicate and stay in touch that cannot help but inspire us to prioritize that level of connection when things go back to being busy and distracting.

Through this global crisis we are hearing about millions of gestures of love and thoughtfulness.

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Please let all the good in, all the gratitude and compassion for those on the front-lines, those in the trenches, those in the hospitals, those standing beside graves of their loved ones, for all the children drawing rainbows on the windows of their tenements, all the elders sharing stories of how they braved through the misfortunes of drought, war, and disasters before this one to survive and live another day with gratitude and grace.

Let us embrace the idea that this is the moment that all our spiritual practices, all our high-flown talk, all our good intentions to be our best selves can come to action.

Let us believe that we have the dignity, the patience, and the wisdom to learn the deep and valuable lessons about life in this time of death and that we can carry them forward when this crisis ends and yet another, inevitably, takes its place.

Let us trust that

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But I’m not gonna lie, Suzie Sunshine has been having quite a bumpy ride of it…I’ve been feeling extraordinarily fragile, vulnerable, teary, blue, stretched too thin, and prone to catastrophizing.

The solitude, the anxiety, the not being beside my Sweetheart, the uncertainty has taken quite a toll.  Lots of old grief is coming up, in many unexpected ways…plus the difficult processing of all the huge changes in my life (uprooting from my desert home, closing the amazing Creative Cottage, acutely missing my beautiful tribe of creative, soul-full sisters) has left me exhausted and feeling like I’m caught between worlds–never quite “home.”

But always, I am watching for the rainbow.

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The protracted problems of trying, first to get our new home in California all fixed up and ready for us, and then, our old home fixed up and ready to sell, have taken many months longer than we projected. Our budget, our patience, our stamina, and our resolve have all been sorely tested. 

Sometimes I’ve thought that maybe I am not up to the task, that this was a silly idea, that I’ll never make the brave leap from one realm to another, and that I’ve made a enormous mistake in thinking, at nearly 74 years of age, that I can make such a huge transition, mostly by myself, in a broken world.

When I think that way, when I muddle myself up with self-doubt, when I terrify myself with “what if’s” I get scared and lonely and worried and fall apart.

But, the good news about getting older (and having been through a few challenges in the past) is that I’ve learned…

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So, in this time of re-calibrating, I’ve decided that in my new home, in my new life, I will change who I am and what I do and how I care for myself.

I definitely won’t postpone joy or fun!

I will remember to

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During this unique time of quiet solitude, I have deepened and nourished my spiritual connections to those who have helped me on my life journey.

I am reading, meditating, praying, and being grateful in new ways for the magnificent tribe of elders and sages who have comforted and uplifted me.

I have gone to the mountain top, under the brilliant blaze of moon and stars with my Irish drum, and opened up my heart, trusting what will be, by accepting what is.

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I have come to know that

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So, while others despair and lament, cringe in fear and powerlessness, and bemoan our fates, I am determined to lift up hope and speak with optimism about what valuable lessons this crisis is teaching us…and to focus on what a new world can look like when we wake up to new opportunities and possibilities that can make the world a better, kinder, more honored and cared for place.

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Though I am still not safely transplanted into my new home, though I am acutely isolated and alone, though I am appalled and disgusted that our President insists on being an irresponsible idiot who shirks all responsibility, accountability, humanity, and honorable discourse, while he spreads downright criminal misinformation and outright lies; I have hope that there will be a reckoning and a reversal, there will be a return to sanity and science-based practices, and there will be a new era of deep humility and compassion spawned by the lessons we are learning in this time of global crisis.

I am always watching for the rainbow…

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I have come here, to this little cyber tribal fire-circle, where we have gathered so many beautiful times together in love and healing, to remind you

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One day at a time.

One day at a time.

Rebuild your spirit.

Feed your faith.

Embrace hope.

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With Much Love & Hope,

Kaitlin

(Always watching for the rainbow.)

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© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2020. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

By Kaitlin Meadows