The recent weeks and months have certainly not gone by anyone without having some impact on our lives. The ongoing pandemic has changed many if not all of our lives forever. I wake up every day with a renewed gratitude of a new morning as I open my eyes. No longer do I take awakening each morning for granted. The unprecedented experience of lock down, home office, and uncertainty about health, freedom, and the future of our world as we know it, have grounded me. As I arise each morning, I give thanks to life, my health and the health of my loved ones. I open the window, take a deep breath, and let the warm morning sun caress my face. I give thanks to the light and love of the sun, while listening to the birds singing a spring song makes me smile. Yes, indeed it is a beautiful spring day. I know many people who now think that they are stuck at home. I also know that we are safe at home. I have been staying put with the only exception of a few recent walks in the neighborhood. Honestly, it took quite some courage to venture out into the world again like that. Taking this pandemic seriously, one day I began stepping out in full gear – mask and gloves – that is.
Thinking that, maybe, just maybe, the pandemic had made many people a little more compassionate, more loving, more tolerant towards another, I expected a few nice encounters with strangers – from a distance of course – maybe a kind hello from a neighbor across the street. Carefully, I walked out and took my first steps. Not far from my house I encountered the first human being in sight. Wondering how the “world out there” might have changed since I last had been outside, I stopped and waited. Soon I would be looked at, stared at even from across the street, and made fun of – loud and clear. No kind known neighbor but complete strangers would tell me: “Why are you wearing a mask”? “Oh here come the dangerous people (refering to wearing a mask)! ” “If you are that scared, why don’t you just stay at home!” Soon I understood. I was being judged and ridiculed because I chose to wear a mask – to protect me and you.
Disappointed, I walked on. I sighed, and thought, maybe those people are right, I should go back home and rather look for uplifting stories on the the Internet. Thankfully, there are plenty about people helping other people and all kinds of random kindness acts these days. Then, a beautiful sight across the street attracted me. It was a pink blossom on a tall tree. Ever since I was a little girl, being in nature always soothed me when I was in sorrow. This time was no different. As I look across the street, a beautiful tall tree stood in front of me. I had never seen it before, and I didn’t know what kind of tree it is. I just knew that, to me, it was very beautiful. I felt so drawn to the tree as if it could talk and said to me: “Come darling, come to me. Don’t worry about the not so kind people, they probably don’t know better. Come to me and I will delight you”. Indeed, I crossed the street and was in awe of such beauty. I had never seen this tree before. Looking at the tree and blossoms closely, I really did feel welcome as if the tree really could talk to me. I felt relaxed, secure, loved. No judgement, no making fun of me. Just pure unconditional love and compassion. That is our Mother Nature.
A week later I would visit my tree again. Once again it welcomed me. The tree does not know me which makes me a stranger. Nor have I ever figured out what kind of tree it is. Maybe one day I will know. Maybe you can help me find out? The important message is, I think, be like the tree – don’t judge when you see stranger.
I see you soon again, my tree.
Barbara Bullock Copyright © 2020 by Barbara Bullock, M.F.A., spiritual writer. Have you been inspired today? Barbarabullock.com