Friday, April 10, 2020

Lockdown

Guest Commentary

Yes there is fear. 

Yes there is isolation. 

Yes there is panic buying. 

Yes there is sickness. 

Yes there is even death. 

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 

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. 

Today a young woman I know 

is busy spreading fliers with her number 

through the neighbourhood 

So that the elders may have someone to call on. 

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples 

are preparing to welcome 

and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary 

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. 

-From Richard Hendrick (Brother Richard) in Ireland 

March 13th, 2020 

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