what do you think will happen*

“if you touch their hearts
what do you think will happen”*

PP5_1382-5-1

Today I am writing en plein air, from my deck; with the same view as from the little oak table but on the other side of the glass. It is 28 °C (in the shade!!!), the sun is shining, the sky is clear the birds are vocal and active and I am so glad I moved outdoors! Except… Concentration!

PP5_1388-11-1

Despite the lovely warm weather, my silly tulips have still not opened:

PP5_1391-14-1

But Spurge!  Two huge, glorious clumps of Yellow Spurge!!!

PP5_1395-18-1

what do you think will happen

Some eleven weeks ago, armed with the scientists’ best practices, we built ourselves  protective covid castles —  defensive bastions to guard against infection and contamination — convincing telling ourselves we were buttressed against the pandemic plaguing our shores. Conversations today have moved on from this distancing model to defence against the second wave, like the first one has passed already, but statistics simply do not support this opinion. 

The rules have relaxed, Ontarians seem ever so much happier, but the stark truth is that the curve has still not flattened – the number of coronavirus patients is steadily rising, Friday being the third consecutive day that newly identified positives increased. We now know that the virus incubation requires ten to fourteen days so it is important to note that these increases are not the result of Mr. Ford’s “reopening” of our province.  

Some of the reopening rules are crystal-clear, others ambiguous, all predicated upon Ontarians adhering to those established safeguarding practices but – do we have the appetite to stay the course?  Those preservative measures include testing, contact tracing and physical distancing – all more or less voluntary, all reliant upon our commitment. Testing works only when people attend screening centres, tracing works only when those tested positive follow-up and responsibly call their contacts and physical distancing works when we forego certain pleasures and freedoms in service of others.  In short, our appetite for continuing vigilance. Perseverance. 

For the past two months we’ve been so, so good; we’ve skyped, learned Zoom, texted, phoned, face-timed, and called out greetings to our neighbours from afar. Those forms of communication are entirely insufficient to needs.  We are craving the intimate company of our family and friends. ‘Though we all have the best of intentions, and ‘though we’ve been doing our level-best to protect ourselves and others from the pandemic risk, impatience and the cracks in our armour are beginning to show.

The reopening of Ontario seems to have raised more questions than there are definitive answers. Practicing COVID-19 safety measures is not always black and white – there are a lot of grey areas to evaluate. Risk analysis. For instance, outdoor visits and activities are thought to be much safer than indoors. 

Even for the government, assessing  risk is not a black-and-white issue, they must tread the fine line between health and prosperity. Hertz, Neiman Marcus, Henry’s, J Crew, Aldo, Nygard, Gold’s Gym and JC Penny are all companies – both sides of the border – that employ 500+ workers and that have declared bankruptcy due to pandemic closures. Then there are the hundreds of Main Street Ontario business owners –  Mom-and-Pop businesses – that, during closure, have simply packed up shop and walked away – no formal declaration of bankruptcy.  The longer businesses remain closed, the more permanent job losses there will be.  But the clear offset is the risk to health.  

what do you think will happen…

  • if I invite my close circle of friends back into my life; and
  • if we invite friends into our garden for tea or wine and cheese as long as the lawn chairs are two metres apart; and
  • do we tell them the house (read: bathroom) is off-limits; and
  • if I don’t wear a mask when I’m hiking (as long as I avoid others or put it on when someone approaches); and
  • if I meet up with my park friends as long as we sit two metres apart; and
  • if I hike through the park with a friend, physically distanced, wearing masks; and
  • if I offer to share my lunch or my tea with them; and 
  • if I stop sanitizing all groceries/parcels/mail that come into our home (our supply of Lysol wipes is rapidly dwindling)?

Doing any of those things feels akin to closing my eyes and stepping off the top of the biggest cliff I can imagine (think Scarborough Bluffs!), and plummeting to an unknown landing.  Emerging from self-isolation whilst this virus continues to rage might be the biggest gamble ever taken.  There’s no room for error.

if you touch their hearts
what do you think will happen

I love hugging and kissing and being close. I love making and sharing cups of tea. I love visiting, having visitors and spending time in close quarters. How can I do all those things, touch the hearts of my loved ones, whilst keeping both me and them safe? Our current and post-corona epidemiological existence is a constant awareness, a constant lifestyle of compliance to protect and care, not only for ourselves but for the essential workers and society’s most vulnerable. But I do wonder – is there enough diligence, enough care, to make them feel safe? 

In isolation, how do we touch the hearts of those who have lost a loved one? I have a dear friend in that unfortunate circumstance right now. She is grieving the death of her brother alone. No one by her side to provide any measure of comfort. He was a man of, and she is a woman of deep faith and it is agony for her to have no funeral, no blessing, no prayers. What I’d give to be able to give her a long, close hug around her neck, wipe her tears and share her pain – in person.  

It seems as if our only option is to slowly, gently feel our way through the long, dark tunnel that is the coronavirus, making up answers to the many small questions that crop up as we inch our way along.  And perhaps there really is no amount of care, of love that will make everything okay again, but I have to try.  We all do, or else what do you think will happen

“go my friend
bestow your love”*

’Til next time, y’all…

KC: Today’s brew is Antiox Apple-Cinnamon-Turmeric. Delish, but tea always tastes better in a nice cup, non? xx

*Rumi, Ghazal 838.
Full poem printed below.
‘Ghazal’ is an ancient Persian style of poetry.

 

Ghazal 838 

if you pass your night
and merge it with dawn
for the sake of heart
what do you think will happen

if the entire world
is covered with blossoms
you have laboured to plant
what do you think will happen

if the elixir of life
that has been hidden in the dark
fills the desert and towns
what do you think will happen

if because of
your generosity and love
a few humans find their lives
what do you think will happen

if you pour an entire jar
filled with joyous wine
on the head of those already drunk
what do you think will happen

go my friend
bestow your love
even on your enemies
if you touch their hearts
what do you think will happen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s