“I Shine in the Water"
SUNNYSIDE UP MOMENT - APRIL 21, 2020
DAY THIRTY-SIX OF THE CORONAVIRUS SHUTDOWN FOR US AT STACK 'EM HIGH PANCAKES AND SO FORTH
The uncertainty of how coronavirus affects one’s immune system, how it acts as a contagion, how it mutates, these things have been the focus of serious study and analysis for months. The research and discovery will continue likely for years as scientists scrutinize data and work together to compile a body of knowledge about the virus. Thankfully, the scientific ethos demands objectivity, impartiality and propriety, and these principles will guide their work.
As tentative plans to re-open Dare and Currituck counties are being announced new uncertainties have surfaced, but science can provide neither the framework nor the method for what comes next. We have been sailing through uncharted waters for quite some time. Understandably, seeing that glimpse of land ahead inspires powerful and emotionally charged reactions. It’s natural to be afraid of the unknown. It is our instinct to become territorial if we feel we are under threat. But I am frightened of the emerging habit to be exhilarated and then to be captivated by both the fear and the terror. We seem to allow this wave of emotion to bury our rational, curious, discerning selves. We have forgotten the intrinsic value in breathing before we speak. We have forgotten that our words are our seeds, and our actions are our legacies.
What awaits us in the coming weeks very much depends on US. How will we treat each other during this next phase and beyond? How will we interpret and react to official data as it is disseminated and then re-distributed and then retold yet again? How will we adjust to this situation that will inevitably ebb and flow?
We are capable of meeting the coming challenges with strength and integrity and grace all at once. But it will require efforts worth making. It will require some compromise and some compassion. These characteristics are quintessentially human and imperative for this moment. Hildegard of Bingen from the 11th century describes these mysterious powers within us as “The living and fiery essence of the divine substance…I shine in the water, I burn in the sun and the moon and the stars.” Reach for those sparks of the divine in you and let them light our way forward. Those shimmers on the water, those are our glimmers of hope.