My sister told me a story about an outdoor project she did with her kids to take a brief escape from Covid-19 indoor blues. After hearing it, we talked about how this story could be a metaphor for working one’s way through crisis. I asked to share her story as an illustration of some of the concepts I teach for moving through crisis. Life will give us times that are as hard as stone, but it also gives us moments between the rough that are filled with beauty and softness. It is ultimately up to us what we do with the blossoms and stones within our lives. My sister is a person who moves through the rough in life with love. The type of person who helps everyone around her to feel more love despite what is going on around them. I see how she is now teaching her children to do the same as they use the stones and blossoms in life to create a life full of love.
Here is her story: After too much time stuck inside with my four kids with nothing but chores, CNN, and Facebook to look forward to, I felt my body become overcome with feelings of anxiety. Anxiety that one of us would become infected. Anxiety that if I failed to disinfect something properly, I would be putting a loved one at risk: all these thoughts terrified me and I started to cry. As the tears flowed, I realized no amount of chores would change that my son will miss his graduation or that my toddlers won’t get all the preschool memories I wanted them to have because my state, like many others, is on lockdown from Covid-19. As the warmth of the sun started to envelope my body, I watched my two and four year old laughing as they collected blossoms that had fallen off the cherry tree in our backyard. I thought why am I sitting here in fear instead of taking this time to play with my kids? I wiped my tears away and joined them outside. As my daughter brought me blossoms, I said to her “how about we make some art with all these pretty blossoms.” As we placed stones and blossoms into different designs, I thought, these pieces of nature are like the moments of our lives, we can use them to create more love or more sadness. It was then that I decided to use the time that COVID-19 was giving us to be together to be a time of creating moments of love. I still have some moments when I cry at night with fear, but then I remember all the experiences I have gotten to share with my children during this time that I, otherwise, would not have had. In this moment, I feel connected to all my ancestors that struggled to overcome times of adversity. They had to make the same choice to spend their moments focused on the rough or hardness within life or the simple beauty that we each can find within our own backyards.