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March 19, 2020

Thank You, Coronavirus, for the Gift of “The Great Turning”

I hear the rain gently tip tip tapping against the sill of my cracked window.

Sticking my head outside for a few deep breaths, I’m struck with the potent scent of Earth. That rich aroma, a little different every time, that invites us to breathe more, breathe deep, infuse the lungs with air, spit out the stale parts pooling within.

In this potent climate of change across our collective, there’s an electric pulse surging through human consciousness. We’re being asked to slow down, pause, and listen, yet the mind has the tendency to speed up and spiral into fear.

I see the fear in my mom as she frantically gathers enough food to feed a village, more more more, we need more more more.

I witness it in my father, 88 years old with emphysema, a chronic lung condition, his eyes glued to the news, one ear tuned into a radio at all times.

I sense it in my sister, home from college on a moment’s notice, sleeping in her childhood room, hungry for a way to infuse old terrain with new flavor.

I feel it in my heart, grieving the way things used to be, ecstatic with the prospect of vital change.

I suck in one more full breath of air–– it feels fresher than usual–– pause, and release it into the night sky. My breath forms a milky swirl around the lemon tree by my window.

The deeper in I hone, to the soil, to the rhythmic pulse of my heart, to my intestines digesting two decades of racing towards a moving finish line, I begin to sense a sparkle within.

It sounds like a fairy’s laughter and feels like pure pleasure spreading from my core to opposite ends of my spine, vibrating through my fingertips and toes.

We’ve been waiting for the permission to pause.

We’ve been dancing ‘round fires, singing in circle, purging our pain, and cursing our prayers to the gods in the sky for the violence to end.

For suicide to stop.

For pollution rates to drop.

For the world to wakeup.

I keep having moments of, “Is this really happening?”

Yes. It’s happening, now.

Catalyzed by bats said to have been the first infected with the virus, factories are shutting down, schools closing, air travel limited, work pausing, underlying fear, longing, and grief exploding to the surface.

On the outside it seems like a crisis. But we’ve already been in crisis for hundreds of years.

This is The Great Turning.

Air pollution is decreasing by the minute worldwide–– and the planet’s health is our own health.

Mama Earth’s message is to pause. To listen to the rain. To remember what’s really important in our unpredictable, precious lives.

This turning is reminding me how good it feels to let go of every “have to.”

This turning is reminding me I have everything I need right here within and around me.

This turning is reminding me that there is time and space to grieve.

This turning is reminding me that every time I thought I wasn’t worthy or deserving or enough, I was. I am.

This turning is reminding me that art and music and song and dance and writing are for EVERYONE.

This turning is reminding me of the uncertainty of every moment except the now.

We can choose to ground ourselves in Mother Earth’s loving hold and sing our song of remembrance together.

We have the ingenuity, creativity, wisdom, skill, and power to create another way of living that is centered around connection to our earth, our bodies, and the coals of our wild animal souls.

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