As I sit here writing this instead of getting ready to go service at NCUU, I was reminded of an article written by Lama Willa B Miller, “Living in This Strange Moment Together.” I found it in the Buddhist online magazine Lion’s Roar.
Yesterday, I went to my local drug store to purchase a thermometer for a loved one who was spiking a fever at home. As I entered the small neighborhood store, I noticed it was more crowded than usual. As I walked down the aisles, I noticed that there were bare shelves. There were small tags for toilet paper, hand sanitizer, gloved, and thermometers. I asked the pharmacist if there were any, and he repeated perhaps for the hundredth time that day, “All gone .. I’m sorry.”
On the street as I drove home, I noticed these signs: a young man stopped to stuff a dollar bill into a can of a street person; a truck flashed its lights at me, yielding for me to turn; traffic halted for two geese to waddle slowly across four lanes of parkway. This strange moment in time is eliciting unexpected acts of kindness, even while we feel as if we’re in a dream.
Illness and death are life’s great equalizers. A fever is a fever. A virus seeks a host. We are all potentially at risk. We are all trying to quell the spread together. Fear is an invitation. It is not an invitation to weigh risks or to adjust the externals. It is an invitation to look deeply within and befriend oneself.
We are sitting with the unknown. The unknown is exactly what pulls the veil. It offers a glimpse in the truth that nothing is ever certain. This world with all its beauty and all its vibrancy is just so because it is not fixed, because everything is contingent. Life’s natural cousin is uncertainty.
The final gift is kindness; we are all in this together. Be kind to each other.