It is ironic, my last trip (most likely) for the year was to Geraldton where on the outskirts, in the hamlet of Greenough, is the graceful and iconic Leaning Tree. I never fail to stop and take a picture of the tree each time I drive past. It is also ironic that I found a picture that was taken on a gloomy day. It should have dampened my spirit, when the world has changed so drastically. Behind each statistic is a person, a family, a community and the reach of this health and economic crisis, is sobering.
The Leaning Tree, Greenough, Western Australia
Like those who work with people face to face, be it in hospitality or hospital etc, our work lives have changed, at least for the foreseeable future. The news from one agency, midway through my trip, was to cease operations as we know it. On the last day of my work in a new agency, we were advised there would be no work until further notice.
After the initial shock of severe financial restrictions, I did what is promoted as a step to maintaining good well being. In times of crisis return to normalcy as soon as one can. I sat in the quiet of my hotel room and made a list of priorities. I usually make a list at night of tasks that I need to tackle the following day but this list was different. I found I needed to take charge.
The first thing I did was to email the bank and accountant to advise them I would not have my usual income this year. The bank representative did her homework before returning my call. She reassured me all was well on that front and they made some allowances that will be helpful should I need it. It was the biggest relief and allowed me to think more clearly about other matters.
I returned to Perth to empty shops. The mad panic seems to have subsided or perhaps people are staying home, which is a good thing. It felt like I was over-shopping and I had to remind myself I usually shop for a day but now I was shopping for a fortnight.
Like the Leaning Tree growth continues when one is bent, but not broken. I’ve found some positives in going back to basics. It’s all about perspective.
Hotel room art, Geraldton, Western Australia
Being grounded in reality is one thing, but we can paint and re-paint the picture in broader and brighter strokes. Adults can come up with something more abstract and even when broken and distorted, the picture emerges and one finds meaning in it.The Rainbow Tree, children’s artwork, school in the Midwest, Western Australia
Children, on the other hand, take from what is familiar and make it their own. I experienced a deep sense of joy when I stood in front of this artwork. All those discarded buttons from old clothing, the vision of a rainbow instead of a bent, old tree. The earth coming up to greet it. To me this is a portrait of a celebration. Oh! the eyes and heart of a child!
So I share three pictures with you today of gloomy reality, abstract thinking and of creativity. I know which one I love best! So I’m channeling my inner child.
I’m going back to where comfort is. I read in posts, most of us are doing this too.
I’m enjoying cooking. I’m stewing fruit. I’m making sauces and pastes. My home smells like a home.
My home is being spring cleaned. All those chores that never find a higher priority are being attended to. I am culling and discarding what I don’t use or need.
There is incense burning and with it, brings a presence. Together, we are one.
My faith has never been stronger as I face an unpredictable financial future.
Take care of yourself and each other. Think of others. Offer a kind word to the elderly who seem so worried and alone. Your smile or gesture may make a world of difference to them. Be the difference.
Anxiety negatively impacts the immune system. Keep calm. Calmness can be contagious too.
Look and read the ‘news headlines’ within. That’s where you’ll find a stronger and resilient you.
a dawn bird
In response to RPD – Saturday – Looking Within