I see groups of people getting outside to howl each night at 8pm, so we all feel connected from afar – even just by doing something ridiculous.
Around the corner from us, yesterday there was a family standing out in the street with balloons in front of their house because it was their daughter’s 5th birthday – and everyone was honking and waving at them as they drove past.
And, as Fr Richard Hendrick said in his sermon in Ireland…
‘Yes there is fear. Yes there is isolation. Yes there is panic buying. Yes there is sickness. But…
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise You can hear the birds again. They say that after just a few weeks of quiet The sky is no longer thick with fumes But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi, Italy People are singing to each other across the empty squares, keeping their windows open so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way All over the world people are waking up to a new reality To how big we really are. To how little control we really have. To what really matters. To Love.
So we pray and we remember that Yes there is fear. But there does not have to be hate. Yes there is isolation. But there does not have to be loneliness. Yes there is panic buying. But there does not have to be meanness. Yes there is sickness. But there does not have to be disease of the soul Yes there is even death. But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe. Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic The birds are singing again The sky is clearing, Spring is coming, And we are always encompassed by Love. Open the windows of your soul And though you may not be able to touch across the empty square, Sing.’
Fr Richard Hendrick, March 13th 2020
This is all a good opportunity, I think, to stop, to reflect, and to slow down more – the kind of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we may never have again.
Sure, there’s a lot of doom and gloom out there, but there’s also a lot of positivity. And when we come out of this, we’ll all be better for it.