Updated: May 29, 2020
By Maureen Kalbus
Sheltering at home, time has taken on a different dimension. No longer bound by the restrictions of having to be in another place for work, meetings, appointments, social outings, church… we have more flexibility and freedom within each twenty- four hours. Without travel time, there is more time to give ourselves.
Ralph and I have a plan for each day, and basic structures for ongoing pursuits, that afford us a feeling of security. We discuss these the night before, then launch into the new day, anticipating what it could bring. The glorious reality is that, while we embrace the feeling of no time constraints, if things don’t work out as planned, that’s alright: we can shift them to the next day. Previous decadent pleasures like getting lost in a book for hours, luxuriating in an afternoon bubble bath/Jacuzzi, binge watching worthy television series, eating meals when we feel like it….are now the norm. Because of pandemic restrictions, usual exercise, church and organization commitments have altered, but we are welcoming the changed approaches. Admittedly, we relished the return to the first tee, when golf courses were recently opened up, and just loved access to wide open spaces again. With additional time on our hands, we have devoted it to gardening: planting, weeding, tending; spring cleaning; delving into closets and the garage, sorting and culling ; immersing ourselves in hoards of photographs, cards and letters saved over the decades. We have had time to think about our lives. Interests, pursuits and involvements, weighing up the value of each to us. Contacts with family and friends are even more precious to us. Absence does make the heart grow fonder!
All my life, I have moved at break neck speed, literally, running from one activity to the next. My Dad always implored me to “Slow down!” Because of the pandemic, I have been heeding him, and relishing the gentler pace.
What have you been doing with your extra time?
"Take time to work, it is the price of success.
Take time to think, it is the source of power.
Take time to play, it is the secret of perpetual youth.
Take time to read, it is the foundation of wisdom.
Take time to be friendly, it is the road to happiness.
Take time to dream, it is hitching your wagon to a star.
Take time to love and be loved, it is the privilege of the gods.
Take time to look around, it is too short a day to be selfish.
Take time to laugh, it is the music of the soul.” ~Old English Prayer, Author Unknown
Having moved to Stage Two of the Sheltering at Home edict, we are able to see light at the end of the dark tunnel which has been enshrouding us. Hope is on the horizon. Oh the joy at the prospect of seeing people, and having conversations in reality!
G.K. Chesterton said that “Hope is the power of being cheerful in circumstances we know to be desperate.” While Emily Dickinson wrote “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches on the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.” Psalm 130 tells us to “Hope in the Lord, for with the Lord there is mercy and with Him is abundant redemption.” In Psalm 62 we are urged to “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”
"Fear can keep us tethered,
Terror can clip our wings.
But trust eases pain,
Hope lightens the sky.
Love makes us courageous,
And what matters most
Is not whether we hide
or fly or even
Where our journey takes us,
But what guides us home,
And where we come to land." ~Anon
What are your hopes, as we tentatively move forward?
Shelter safely, hope wholeheartedly, and appreciate the lightening sky,