As We Sit Silently
During this unprecedented era in time, locked away with uncertainty swimming in the air, our minds tend to wander down unusual paths.
This dramatic shift has greatly impacted us all in some ways, and sometimes, all we need is comfort – knowing that we are not alone in our thoughts, fears, and feelings.
The sudden rise of the pandemic, and the rules and restrictions that came with it, has had a butterfly effect on the entire world. Our lifestyles have been forcibly transformed.
Here we sit silently, thinking of the world that once was not so long ago. Nostalgia hits. A mere three months ago we were somewhere else entirely – in mind, body, and soul. Now, we’re adrift, with no seemingly recognizable reality to grasp.
To keep my mind at ease, I wander around my enclosed space that’s bracketed by devastation. Careless meandering outdoors has become a danger. Every person that passes is a threat.
As the country’s lockdown continues, the days begin to melt into one another. Time becomes an almost tangible illusion. No deadlines, no schedules, no defining timelines. What we once looked forward to have slowly become thoughts of the past.
As the pandemic continues along its course, the economy slowly cascades downwards. Many of us are losing our careers. Finding financial security is a job in itself, and to have that sense of stability ripped away from us – along with access to the outside world – hinders our ability to grasp our new reality. Even more, how do we reclaim that security within a world in turmoil?
Our routine, scheduled lifestyle has warped into a dazed and circular habit. As we wake up, pondering the day ahead, we may be left with a sense of hopelessness. Are my actions today going to provide me with a meaningful tomorrow? Is tomorrow even meaningful if it’s just a repeat of yesterday?
Motivation and determination slowly seep out of my mind as the sun rises and declines. A thirst for life, experiences, and curiosity stay unsated in the corner of the room, bursting to release when the opportunity presents itself. But when will that be? We flick through vibrant images on our phones that present vivid worlds of opportunity, knowing that they’re unattainable for the foreseeable future.
A sense of loss creeps over me. Not only am I missing experiences, but also friendship. Humans aren’t meant to be alone. We are social creatures, pack animals. There’s something inexplicable about the human touch. Skin on skin is sacred – a bond bound in a soft sensation. I long to hug my friends, to hold their hands as they shed tears of mental exhaustion. Instead, I see their faces on the other side of my screen. We become devoid of each other’s energies, the energies that usually uplift us. Sometimes, body language and eye contact speak louder than words, and much can be left unsaid without the in-flesh conversations.
But as we lose physical connection, we embrace the power of internet connection. Video calls, phone calls, and posting snippets of our lives online hold a grander meaning than they did before. Friends and family who we rarely speak to become common contacts, sending love and support through the virtual airwaves. But my eyes burn at the end of the day, tired of staring at a luminescent monitor, trying to soak up information about the outside world from which I am separated. From which we all are.
Not only are we divided from people, but we’re also isolated from the natural world. I miss immersing myself in nature’s splendour. I long for the forest, for the cleansing aroma of pine and earth to fill my lungs, to ground my feet deep into nature’s floor, and to skim the flourishing array of verdant foliage. I want to curiously venture through thickets and rivers, gaze upon flowing waterfalls, and soak up the dappled sunlight perforating the emerald roof above me.
The ocean calls to me. I can almost feel the soft, crystal sand swaying along my feet. I can almost see the waves gliding to and from the shore in its never-ending attempt to caress the land. The ebb and flow of nature’s wonder can easily mitigate our quarantined suffering, yet we are mostly prohibited to enjoy the natural divinity.
But not everything is tainted. As the industrial world turns to stillness, rackets of cars and commotion turn into whispers, elevating the surrounding sounds that were otherwise silent. I can hear the birds as they hum and chirp soft melodies into the hushed atmosphere. The crickets perform an A Capella as the horizon submerges the sun. I can hear the soft sobs and the reverberated cackles of laughter from my neighbours. I can hear others fidgeting, trying to keep themselves occupied in a world currently without occupation. I can feel a living force rolling through the veins of the world. And as I look around me, I notice life blooming everywhere.
I immersed myself in my haven, witnessing all that grows and flows undeterred by the pandemic. My succulents reach for the sun, glowing in hues of green and gold, sprouting flowers I never knew existed. The bees gracefully flutter around the flora, gifting new opportunities of raw, pure life while we sit questioning the meaning of ours.
The deep contrasts of our situation present themselves in all forms. As humanity weakens, nature strengthens. The otherwise shadowed corruption eroding our civilization comes to light, unveiling truths many wished remained secret. Perhaps this will conjure a mass motivation for change, for a better world that supports all those who inhabit it.
The grand transformation of the wider reality has peaked our senses towards the smaller sensations around us. The tangible things we take for granted now spark our gratitude – shelter, running water, electricity, and food in the fridge have become the biggest blessings. And as we ponder these gifts, we’re left with a poignant reminder of those who aren’t as lucky as we are.
But comfort can be found in each other, in the connective consciousness and existence of humanity. We are all experiencing an unprecedented change, a shift in being. Every day we’re presented with an arduous battle of the mind, while our bodies barely move.
Whether we sent the universe a request for time off or not, it’s here. Despite the chaos that’s unravelling in the world, we’ve been given the time to find calm within our enclosed sanctuaries – and within our own minds and bodies. And with that comes a choice. We can choose to spend our time in a state of panic and disbelief, trying to satiate our emotions and shuffle responsibility to the corner of the room - in sight but neglected. Or, we can find the positives, the hopefulness among the devastation.
Concealed in our homes, we’re almost forced to look within. Reflecting on our lives, who we are at the present, and what we truly want to manifest in the future. As we move through the motions, we unveil the habits that hinder personal growth, and since we can’t escape them, we have to confront them.
We need to feel these emotions to fully accept the light in ourselves as we come face to face with existence, with just being human. Here, we can start to cherish our bodies and the extraordinary universe we hold within us. Our capabilities come to the surface as we peer deeper into our conscious realm. Not many have the time or motivation to experience these aspects of themselves. Now, we can let it strengthen and carry us through our lives when things turn slightly normal once again.
Every evening I watch the sunset. Although always profound, witnessing a sunset during lockdown seems to provide colours of perception and introspection. Our ever-spinning rock continues on its mission around our burning star, despite what some of its inhabitants are experiencing. The moon consoles us, rising up in darkness to exude her fluorescent glow that pumps a cleansing energy into our hearts, releasing our minds from its constant race of insignificant issues.
The world will keep moving, life will keep blooming, and it’s not in our control. Instead of seeking reassurance, perhaps we should let go.
There are these tiny blue flowers in my garden, its honey centred middle speckled with gold. As soon as the sun’s rays creep across their shadows, they flutter and open, embracing the light’s power and dancing with the shallow breeze. When the rays fade away and the moon takes centre stage, the blossoms conceal themselves, resting and strengthening for their restoration.
Perhaps this is our night, our time to find courage in the darkness, readying ourselves for when the light returns.