At midnight, Minnesota moves into another phase of our collective response to the pandemic. Most of the state, except for those providing critical services, are now expected to stay at home and avoid contact with others unless necessary.
Even if you’ve largely been doing this already, how does this shift feel? Is your heart heavier or lighter? Is there a layer of grief? Confusion? Are you relieved? Are you mad?
For me, these last two days have been filled with a sense of urgency to “take care of things.” That’s okay. I rolled with the waves between the necessary and the extraneous. Ok, that’s the more sanitized way of describing what happened. The reality was a bit more frantic. Still okay. Just not so poetic and much more like jarring potholes!
Today I woke up differently. My dreams last night reminded me of this familiar prayer: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
We are in a moment when we must bless the imperfect. That’s a good mantra for life in general, but is particularly important in times of anxiety and fear and deep uncertainty.
There is so much we cannot control or change. And what we can do often doesn’t seem nearly good enough. I am so upset that many of our healthcare workers don’t have adequate protection. I am a sewist, and part of what I did these last two days is track down yards and yards of elastic and cotton fabric so I can make homemade face masks. Last weekend, I got 9 made with the material I happened to have on hand. Now that I’m stocked up, I have a goal of at least 150 more. These masks are not medical grade. They are not adequate for front-line caregivers. And yet they do fill a need. They do make a difference for people and for the system as a whole.
Courage comes when we bless the imperfect. When we call someone even when we’d rather meet for coffee. When we write a message of care in sidewalk chalk when we really want to give a hug. When we try to figure out Zoom even if technology annoys or scares us. When we feel our feelings. When we ask for help.
Bless the imperfect. And bless the courage that can arise from within it.
With love and care,