“Perhaps the universe is saying to us: ‘I want you to go to your room, and think about what you have done!’”
My friend shared this thought with me after taking one of the last flights from the USA to Canada before the border closed. She wanted to be with her aged parents who live in a small town near Toronto. Aware of their vulnerability to the virus, she checked herself into a motel near her parents’ home and has spent the past two weeks in isolation before moving in with them.
“I’ve had a lot of time to think about the epidemic,” she told me on FaceTime. “For me, the fact it came from animal-to-human transmission in a Chinese “wet” market tells me something. This is the price we are paying for eating animals. I’m going 100% vegetarian.”
Another friend, David, told me from his Zoom chat room how his experience of the epidemic’s lockdown “reminds me of the last weeks before my mother’s death. We all stopped worrying about everyday life. It all seemed to drop away. We focused only on what was important. What really mattered. I won’t say the virus has been a good thing. Of course not. But there’s an opportunity here for us to get real clear about what is important in our lives, and let go of the rest.”
My friend Kirby, also on the Zoom chat with David, has seen his small business disappear overnight (he provides sound equipment for local music performances). He told us: “A week ago my calendar was packed. It’s as if a giant eraser has wiped the blackboard clean. It’s frightening, but kind of liberating. Everything ahead is wide open space.”
Wayne seems to be weathering the lockdown the best of all my friends. He has spent the last two years dealing with cancer, surgery, massive depression, and a corresponding loss of income. He was just getting his business as a massage therapist back up and running in January when — bam, he had to shut it down again. Not because he was sick — but because the world was. He seems surprisingly calm, concerned mostly for his clients’ wellbeing.
“Life is impermanent,” Wayne shared. “I’ve spent the last two years observing that reality does not give a crap about my expectations of it….” (Wayne is a Buddhist, by the way). “All I can manage is the present moment, the present breath. And if I can do that with some degree of awareness, then I can manage the next one, and the next…”
What wisdom is the coronavirus teaching you? (Please share in the comments below)