In pre-COVID days, life was often harried and hectic, and I would dream about slowing down, about just staying home. I would joke that, deep within me surely rested the soul of a hermit. 

On March 10, I began sheltering in place and have, for the most part, held to that practice, even today. I work from home, writing, just as I have for many years, and have eliminated many things that don’t feel essential. And, the truth is, I feel blessed by this ability to pause, while aching for others who are suffering from pain and fear because of the virus and feeling unimaginably sad over horrific inequalities that continue to demean and harm far too many. 

I am grateful for Richard Rohr and his faithful service, words of universal love, embrace of mysticism, and fierce and unrelenting focus on social justice. I am grateful for Caroline Myss and her emphasis on the power of holy language and tangible beauty of prayer, and her belief that we’re living in a transformative moment in time, with people all around the globe collectively focusing on healing so we can become a phoenix, rising from the ashes. 

I am grateful for my marvellously diverse set of friends with whom I both grieve and celebrate, long distance. I am grateful for my family as we navigate the unknown together. 

I spend my time reading, writing, studying, and meditating, living more in a state of receptivity. I spend my time in awe of nature, of its brilliant colors and songs, of interconnectedness, of synchronicities rising to the surface, now that we’re given them time and space to do so. 

Sometimes, it feels as though we’re collectively lancing deep wounds. Other times, it seems as though we’re waking up after a long sleep, unsure what the world will look like once we open the door again. Unsure whether, when we take our first tentative steps, we’ll see our shadow and need to retreat once again. 

In one way, I’m living more in the present moment than ever before. In another way, I’m envisioning the future, imagining what our world could look like if we truly harnessed the lessons of today and decided to not return to yesterday’s normal, ever again.