Fear in the Time of Pandemic

There’s so much to fear these days, Dwight. A Global Pandemic, climate change, the economy, politics. Folks are panicked. Many are hoarding, arguing, protesting, denying. But some must  face the situation head on and care for the sick, keep our food chain running and provide  other essential services. These brave souls are on the front lines of this global fight. But many of us don’t know what to do.

I am so grateful for the distraction of nature. I am thankful that we open our eyes to the delight and surprise she offers us each day, Dwight. This morning we observed a doe eating a shrub. We stood still  on the low  wooden bridge that crosses the wetlands and watched. Her ears perked, as she kept an eye on us;  but she kept pulling and nibbling at the spring buds and  leaves. Voyeurs, we paused, mindful of this gift. At just that time, nothing else mattered.

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Walking with you is where I find peace. An hour in nature fills me with gratitude. We watch, as nature steers through the seasons without hesitation. The tree buds, the flowers, the spring peepers, and bumblebees know the right time to surface. Let’s hope that mankind can get through this crisis ; knowing the right time to emerge, maybe with a few scars, but with dignity intact.

These are hard times for Peacemakers like us, Dwight. The” F word” abounds. FEAR. A pandemic is a legitimate reason for fear, but like COVID 19, fear is contagious. We must stop feeding it with network news that perseverates on numbers and dire statistics. I don’t like math, but even I understand the need to flatten the curve. The ink from the morning paper stains us with news of shortages, restrictions and local numbers. I want to be informed. Not overwhelmed.

So, what can we do, Dwight? Let’s keep walking. We’ll take care of our corner of the world. Pick up trash. Share a smile at the right social distance, check on those who live alone, and figure out how we can safely  share with others. And most of all count our blessings. Some fears you face. Some you walk away from. Some you have to defuse, by understanding them a little better. And as Mister Rogers said, “Look for the helpers.” I’ll always be your helper, Dwight. Don’t be afraid.

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