Christmas 2020 has come and gone. Today starts the first day of a provincial-wide lockdown. Only essential services will remain, and we are asked to stay home. For many, it won’t be easy. Caught between understanding why we need to comply and refusing to believe that it’s necessary to curb a line, many’s states of mind will begin to falter. I don’t blame them: I too don’t like restrictions or being told what to do, but it’s a fact that remains. We’re in physical lockdown for 14 days.
This morning, I woke up early, partly because my body is accustomed to doing so, but also because I couldn’t stop the hamster in myself. It occurred to me that for many of us, this may be yet another opportunity to travel. Yes, you read correctly: lockdown may be the perfect opportunity to travel … but within ourselves. I know what you’ll say: here she goes with all that blah blah blah she likes to write. But think about it. Sometimes, when you can’t travel anywhere, choosing to explore your own surroundings and backyard may be what will save you and make you stronger. Henry David Thoreau wrote a whole essay about it, once upon a time. If you read, you may be interested in Walden, or Nature – some of his more important works which describe just that: how we can find meaning in our own lives when we stop grasping at straws elsewhere.
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Thoreau, who died in 1862, grasped the meaning of Life. I remember studying his words one Summer during my American Literature course at the University of Ottawa. I thought he was a quack, a crazy man, an idiot, really. I discussed it with my Father, who had told me that someday when I was older than 20 years of age, I would understand what he wrote. I remember snarking at my Dad, but here I am, 30 years later, finally ‘getting’ it. When we look around at our surroundings, whether they be physical or emotional, we are sure to discover treasures. At times, we notice just how calm our living environments can be – or how cleaning up and decluttering could be of service. When we sit in silence, we can see universal intuitions imploring us to move forward. Perhaps we need to excavate our hearts and let go of unwanted negativity. Maybe we need to forgive and move on. Possibly, just maybe, we can transform our inner chrysalis into that colorful butterfly. The choice remains ours, in the end. Crying to others about what should be – simply envelops us with shrouds of negativity. That is the last thing our collective Universe needs at the moment. Perhaps this 2 week period will allow us to reflect upon our practices and permit us to begin anew, with a different perspective.
How will I do that? What does THAT look like for me? I’m not the person to tell you what you should do, because everyone is an individual with particular qualities. What I am going to share with you is this: I will journal more, walk, watch what I eat and clean out my ‘house’ – in my case – my heart and conscience. I’ll permit myself to let go and smile. I’ll allow myself to discover a whole new life about my inner and outer selves. I’ll go deep within myself and ponder what needs to be done to honor my true self, and I will keep going if naysayers appear. I’m not perfect – far from it, in fact – but I am trying to improve, and that’s what’s important. The timing is right. I have nowhere to go but within, but this may be the most incredible journey of all.