I decided this morning that I would start looking up again. Literally. Because when I do, I see things that I normally would miss. The heart shaped clouds after coming up from a shelter. Where we went to be safe while a tornado passed over.
And while grey days may seem, well, grey, this one is not. Because I looked up. I was sitting on my porch. In my rocker. Writing my three pages that I do each day. And as the pandemic crept into my mind and my words, I stopped. Got up and went outside to finish. Intentional actions to have nature and the outdoors serve as my backdrop.
When I go to the beach, I watch God turn on the lights in the morning. So while I am not there yet, the sun is here. And so is the morning. So, I looked for what was up. There in the sky. In the treetops. And I listened. For what I could hear. All of this centering me. Making me right-sized. And while there was no constant of waves crashing into the shore or seagulls and sandpipers running nervously to entertain me, or periwinkle blue with a soft moon hanging up there, there were plenty of things to see. To draw my attention up. Away from the arrogance of my weight of the world attitude.
As I began to write about the heaviness I have felt from sheltering in place for most of four months, I stopped. Because writing about it was making me FEEL heavy. Instead, I chose to look and to listen. And what a show it was.
In the top of a tree I guess to be 40 feet tall, I saw this vertical branch. Naked from leaves. But on top, there sat a bird. And I thought to myself, “I want to be that bird!” What a view I would have. And I could fly. How cool would THAT be! Just then, another bird hopped on the pole at the top of that tree. About a foot below the top bird, this one standing up sideways. That is amazing. That a bird can stand up with its feet on a tree branch that is straight up and down and that bird can be sideways. Like that is normal. Which for the bird it is. Well that bird was not happy with its place on the pole. And it hopped to the top. Again as if that was just normal. To let the top bird know that he was going to give up the throne at the top of the totem. Now it’s a video game. ANGRY BIRDS. They both fly away.
Directly below on the ground is a bunny rabbit. My yard and my neighborhood a Wonderland of bunnies. Like a habitat. My back yard hosts bunny hop parties on a regular basis. Pretending to be frogs as they literally hop over each other. Sometimes my back yard looks like a Jiffy Pop party of bunnies hopping all over!
As I listened, I could hear trucks and cars. Whirring and rushing on the highway nearby. Then the birds broke out in a chorus. Morning doves on bass. Squeekers and squawkers. In my yard the loudest but the next block birds sang back up. With the melody of the breeze blowing through the leaves of all of the trees.
With all of this entertainment, I pondered with a greater perspective this weight of the world that I choose to bear. Why is THIS so hard? The world has born the weight of disease and pandemic, of social injustice of anger and hate and fear for centuries now. So what is the difference? And then it dawned on me. The difference is that what I could numbley observe on the even news as the tragedies of wildfires flames filled the screen, or the wars in afghanistan were shown on the screen, I could just turn that all off. Why? Because I saw that as not MY world. And while it always was, I chose not to see that. THIS time I recognize that what is happening today-the pandemic, the political division, the civil unrest just happens to be in my backyard. Not the one with the bunny hop, but the one that I think about. Because it’s on my turf. In my city. In my country. And that is where the arrogance comes in. That now I can justify claiming that I feel a heaviness. Because it is happening around me and indirectly some of it to me.
So what is my point? Quite simply it is this. The one thing that is constant as I look up for what I can see, is the world keeps on turning. The birds keep on flying. The wind keeps on blowing. And the sun keeps coming up. So I have decided that I will relinquish my heaviness. To the thing or the being that made all of this. Whoever or what ever did and does this is WAY BETTER at managing the world than I could ever be. And while I can play a part in affecting change in this world, I cannot do so if I think for a minute that part of that task comes by carrying the burdens.
I heard it put this way. There is faith. And there is trust. When I go to the circus and I look up to the high wire, I see the man pushing the wheelbarrow. He has done it a hundred times. And I have faith he will get across. But when I think about getting in the wheelbarrow, it becomes about trust. So just for today, I will trust. And just enjoy the ride, looking up as I go. And I must say that this attitude as it is not even noon yet, hasd lightened my load. And the view from the wheelbarrow in the high wire is breathtaking.