Friday, June 18, 2021

Growing through Covid-19

 Life really is full of surprises. Recently I received my second Covid vaccination. The joy of this seems ridiculous, until I contemplate the idea that I might actually be able to see my family again, after 18 months of deprivation. I've tried to be noble about this, telling myself I must appreciate technology and WhatsApp, at least being able to see them on video quite often. But it’s not the same as a real physical hug.

I tell myself I’m so fortunate to live in this country, where medical help is available, and there is a good chance things will get back to near normal this year.

Everyone feels the curse of this pandemic has just gone on way too long.Medical professionals are warning that the mental effects of being confined, restrained, sticking to avoidance of contact with those you live and care about could soon be worse than actually contracting the dreaded disease.

So, you ask, what can I do to lessen my possible looming health damage?

At first Covid seemed very far away, something that didn’t affect us here in Canada. But then, with surprising speed, the World Health Organization very reluctantly acknowledged this dreaded disease was a pandemic. No one was safe. There was no prevention, no cure. Just really scary stuff. Daily reports of new cases, new deaths, people stuck on cruise ships that morphed into huge floating virus transmission sites.

Fear brought out the worst in folks. Toilet paper hoarding and reselling at profit for a brief while became the name of the game. Misinformation was king. It became a political sport, dividing those in power from each other, confusing the general populations in various countries. Daily cases and horrific deaths remain a fact of our new lives in 2021.

At first we thought this nightmare would end. Now we know that is unlikely. Wearing masks daily is the norm in my area. Vaccine manufacturers are working overtime to supply our wishes to be fully protected. “It takes two” has a new meaning. Two shots in the arm. might mean safety. Visiting others again. Hugs. Laughter. New technology. New society rules.Travel with vaccine passports, just like regular international requirements...

Growing isn’t always about plants, trees and flowers. Often it can happen in the lives of folks after surviving absolute devastation. The pandemic took away almost every activity I enjoyed. I reacted in a way I never would have thought possible. I caved. I sulked for more than a year. I refused to even look at this website. Retreated. Grieved. Told myself I couldn’t write again. Sadness and lethargy ruled the day. 

Until one day, grubbing around in the backyard garden, I realized it might be a good thing to actually require more of myself. 

"The moment you become aware of a plant’s emanation of stillness and peace, that plant becomes your teacher." -Eckhart

Growing yourself needs a mind shift.

  • Get yourself out of the weeds. In isolation everyone becomes forgotten. Take the opportunity to nourish yourself by being kind to others. It’s not hard to give a gift of bread (not wonder bread please!) or home made soup.
  • Make new branches. Have you noticed how mask wearing has stifled greeting and smiling? Try shocking folks by actively greeting anyone with a mask that crosses your path. You’ll be amazed at how it helps your confidence!
  • All plants need sunshine.  I carry a stock of $1  scratch ‘n win lottery tickets with me, and give one to anyone that seems to need a smile when I’m out. People love it. You’re actually giving a gift of hope! Seriously. How many other gifts can you buy for $1?
  • Grow up by reaching for your new sky. Things might not be the “normal” that you used to love. Maybe that won’t happen for the foreseeable future. So this is time to build a new normal. All kinds of new interests are out there. It’s a question of focusing on them and making new discoveries about yourself.
  • Feed your soul and heart with gratitude. Figure out at least one  thing each day that you can use as gratitude fertilizer.

Image via Vicki Warner

Apologies to all of you who have emailed with concern at my absence over this very long time. Words can’t describe how sincerely grateful I am. 

There will continue to be moments when writing dries up a bit, but hopefully new focus will be the overall winner. 

Plants. Thousands of them. Find out in this video what I’ve been up to!




Thank you so much for your patience and support.

 

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