We are still in the roller-coaster process of adapting to how the Coronavirus pandemic, a once-in-a-lifetime experience, has ripped into our lives. Our everyday life and everything we take so for granted (took!) has been gradually, in some countries abruptly, dismantled. I’m writing this on the last day of March and the first of March already seems light years away.
Have you noticed how quiet it is? The background roar of traffic has gone. How quiet the skies have become, empty of condensation trails. But birdsong seems louder, the air seems clearer, the sky bluer. In the wood a few days ago my shadow fell on some anemones just coming out; the picture spoke to me.
These strange happenings make me think of the Bach flower remedy Walnut which helps us adapt to new phases in life. This flower essence also helps break the link to the past („normality“?) and not be so easily influenced while we adapt to a new phase in life. The main source of influence at the moment is, I guess, the daily news showing that the infection rate of Covid-19 continues to increase and the death rate tragically and threateningly continues to rise.
Everybody is reacting differently to the pandemic: I know of someone in London who is so anxious that taking medication is necessary. I know a young woman who is expecting her first baby and is remarkably calm, taking things day by day. Most of us are on gradient somewhere in-between. The Bach remedies that help us come to terms with fear come to mind: Mimulus, (fear of infection) Aspen, (an eerie diffuse fear, more difficult to pin down to something) Rock Rose, (feelings of panic) Red Chestnut (worrying about loved ones) and Cherry Plum (fear of losing control). The list is potentially very long at present in the realm of anxiety, worry and fear. White Chestnut has helped me not dwell on thoughts about the pandemic and stay in the present.
I feel blessed that family, friends and people I work with have come closer together in recent weeks to help one another make sense of what is happening. I hope all of you reading these words are having similar experiences. Humans are social creatures, and the toll of isolation cannot yet be assessed.
Philip Larkin, a Yorkshire poet (1922 – 1985) wrote:
Reaching for the world, as our lives do,
As all lives do, reaching that we may give
The best of what we are and hold as true:
Always it is by bridges that we live.
How would we feel and manage though the pandemic without the internet? When we get through this (and we will get through it, but it might take the whole year) I think humanity will start living differently: Our hyper-globilised world will get an update to a more local one with less worldwide travel, perhaps with more respect for Planet Earth. I often think that Homo sapiens forgets is only one of a million other species on this planet with a right to be here. (Yes, I'm aware of the righteous Vervain undertones of that sentence!) We will have more work from home as digitalisation comes into its own. I also believe that cooperation between nations will emerge as the way through and not America first strategies and the like. 2020, the year which sounded so enticing, will be remembered as a dark year of crisis. We are only a quarter into the year, and the new now is still profoundly unfamiliar.
Wishing everyone inner calm and patience with your kids if you are at home with them (and perhaps working from home too). Wishing you trust that it will come right if you are worried about someone. Speedy return to health if you are ill. Wishing you all precious online contacts. And of course good use of the Bach flower remedies to support your emotional health. Take care.