Can I tell you a secret?
I’m really enjoying this. I know the implications that sentence holds. And you have to know that I say it carefully, with a heart that still holds space for confusion and anxiety and the understanding of loss, heartbreak, and pain. So let us both move forward knowing I am not erasing these realities, merely commenting on another reality that has grown from the quiet space created by the turmoil.
Each day has been stripped of most obligations, a blank slate left open to be filled with whatever I desire, within reason. I imagine that any sense of pressure I once carried has drifted off and in its place I am filled with the greatest restful hours. I dream that I have been given time and space that is so rare, so impossibly hard to come by that it feels deeply sacred (I think it is sacred). This is what happens when the world is forced to slow down, forced to proceed with caution.
I feel as though we are becoming careful, in the best way. Moving slower and with more awareness of our surroundings, an awareness that I can almost guarantee existed in slim quantities before. How many times have you looked this deeply into your neighbourhood and felt your whole body smile at the families playing outside, the friends laughing from six feet apart, the parks full but in a careful way. Perhaps we had become too careless. I imagine that is not a perhaps at all but a fact and one that we are scared to admit to.
Everything has become walking distance because time is ticking on a different clock. I know of three close friends who have already begun researching alternative career paths, realizing that this forced stop has led them to reevaluate where they were going. I’m sure they are not the only ones finding that their eyes have been opened wider now that we are less distracted, less in a hurry. I pray we begin to ask ourselves why we were ever in a hurry in the first place. What have we been running ourselves exhausted for, exactly?
I hope we see the things we have been missing. That stillness is something to fall in love with – after all, it breeds peace. I hope we learn how to hold the hands of the people we love without needing to touch them. Or how to support the people and places in our community when what has become so commonplace to us is stripped away. I hope we learn to hug slower, in the future, and kiss longer. I hope we learn how to take up our time with the utmost sincerity, rather than just manage it into tiny portions to be eaten up by a million and one things pulling at our attention spans, our drive, our greed.
I have come to realize that taking my time has more than one meaning and I am grateful because I am most certainly learning to take my time, pull it close to my chest, lay it out in front of me, and cherish it.
I hope that you are able to do the same.