This morning, our dreamtime abruptly ended not exactly in prayer, but certainly in proclaiming with the fervor of penitents seeing the light. A fierce lightning bolt and accompanying thunder, simultaneous with the beeping alarm warning us our electricity had vanished, sent us all flying from beds and kennels, each of us contributing our own distinct shrieking, caterwauling, and barking to the sudden surprising symphony. Total darkness, 4:25 A.M.
Peeling ourselves from the ceiling, we used our phones’ lights to tackle our morning jobs: getting five dogs leashed and out for relief, three cats fed, coffee made (hooray for gas stove and matches), candles lit, and…well, that was it. We sat in the candlelight and waited for the arrival of daylight, the abatement of wind and lightning, and the restoration of electric power to allow for reconnection to our electronics, weak and unreliable as they are to begin with in America’s rural areas.
We turned to our battery-powered radio. The un-new news on NPR reminded us we were right where we’d been for almost five months: at home, in isolation, watching our country daily devolve under the madness of Donald Destructo, he of the malevolent ineptitude, and a virus abetted in its rampancy by the determined ignorance of enough of us to ensure it will continue unhindered by data, facts, science, and common sense. Today, our own state moved to “red/spike” on the national maps.
This is us. This is many of us, now. Waiting so eagerly for November 3rd that the sensation of being squeezed and restrained surrounds every organ and nerve. Taut and tense and beyond ready to end the nightmare, hoping we can, and beating back any creeping doubt that it’s too late. Still room to wait, just a bit longer.
But there is also this: days blessed with each other’s company; gardens overflowing with beauty and abundance, laughter, joy, peace, and relative safety. And grateful for every second, well aware of the transitory fragility of life. There is happiness, too, in our waiting room.
Our dearest friend visited last weekend. She came up the steps to the back deck wearing her mask and gloves and carrying her cooler to her designated chair placed over 6 ft. from ours, and we sat and chatted like old times and the old friends we are, but at twice the volume, celebrating her birthday and catching up on our stories. Pure gift, and the only snag and sadness was that we could not hug, but oh, the joy of sharing space and time, however rigidly and by necessity strictly-defined. Our friend ended her stellar and long teaching career on Zoom, and is adjusting to retirement without the personal denouement granted by a retirement party or the chance to embrace students and scan one’s classroom and school with a last lingering look to prompt the physical shift to a new stage of life. She’s making tentative plans, but waiting to see how they might take shape.
All of our stories are strangely diverted, our expectations wavering between hope and despair, grown immense in the gestation of this waiting time.
Altered states. Transitions. Interruptions. Pauses. Adjustments. And, for most of us, hope that we’ll survive this time of pandemic (both literal and figurative), with our love and creativity intact, ready to rejoin our communities, eager to reconnect and innovate the ways we live and move upon the Earth. Until then, we wait in the dark, candles lit, awaiting our chance to empower change.
And, while we wait, hopeful and listening: here is a wonder I’m so pleased to share with you, composed by Dr. Gerald Gurss, and performed by members of the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus, where he works as the Artistic Director. Also, a huge thank you to Kevin Stocks, Executive Director of the TCGMC. 🙂
© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.
9 thoughts on “Waiting Room”
Kitty thanks for sharing this post. Your retired friend had exactly the same experience I did after a long stretch of service to my school community. It felt unfinished. Everything feels a bit unfinished as if waiting for the next chapter to begin. Hopefully it will be brighter as we all know how to survive but really living calls for a different skill set. Home becomes your kingdom for today and maybe just maybe we will remember what was important when the world was limited by Covid. Best to you all your garden is lovely.
Oh, I’m so sorry, Jacqui; it is so hard to have your years of dedication, effort, and creativity feel unfinished. Thank you for sharing your gifts with the world this way and I hope there will be celebrations of joy when they can be held safely.
Yes, I agree: a different set of skills and new ways of being are huge invitations right now!
Thank you for sharing and please be safe and well, Jacqui! Gentle peace to you.
Amazingly beautiful. A collage of images depicting our fears, hopes and the gift of waiting…Thank you, Kitty!
Thank you! It is kind of you to visit and to share; I appreciate that and hope you are safe and well, Marguerite Patricia, and that the gifts of waiting continue to bless you. Gentle peace to you, xoxo
Thank you for visiting and taking the time to share, Diane, and I appreciate your visits over the past several months.
It is part of my spiritual path to assess those who are given power over other humans and the course of all life on Earth. Over the years, I have written other posts on this topic. I grew up during the Civil Rights struggles (ongoing) and Vietnam War, and was taught by my parents, priests, and nuns, to speak up against leadership motivated by greed and indifference to human–and other lifeforms’–suffering. I will continue to do so. Recognizing one’s blessings also means risking them to ensure others can share blessing as well.
My spiritual models have taught me that injustice demands rebuke. Mistakes are accepted when one is trying to lead from the heart; utter disregard for life and a staggering pattern of deceit is not. I think assessing an elected official’s grotesque mismanagement of a pandemic, and the resulting loss of over one hundred thousand precious lives and family members, is very different from blaming the elected official for the existence of the virus, but I completely respect your need and desire to follow your chosen spiritual path.
I hope you will remain safe and well, and blessed with gentle peace.
Goodness, that storm and loss of power sounds like an adventure for sure! I used to love lighting candles on our boat when the batteries died. Thank goodness for gas!!! The rain looks pretty wild too, great capture! Yes, it’s disheartening seeing the numbers rise but wonderful to know you and your beloved are happy with your clan. Lovely to hear you caught up with your friend, it makes such a difference doesn’t it, so normalizing too. I’ve just had my hairdresser cut my hair in the garden and I have a friend coming over later as she wants me to cut her hair in the garden as she is worried about visiting a salon and hasn’t a hairdresser that will do home visits. Your book is wonderful, looking forward to my copy arriving! Yay, you’re a star!!! Love and hugs.xxxx
Ohhhh, I’d love to see your new hairstyle! I bet it is gorgeous.
Yes, the visit from our sweet friend was a blessing, and despite all the necessary strategies and restrictions, we enjoyed it very much. It is odd to entertain without providing any food and drink, but there you go. I am sad her career ended during this time, but her equanimity is inspiring.
Gad: the storm! Fun to be together and cozy, but it’s a bit unnerving, too, to realize how all the digital and satellite reliance has made us more dependent than ever. I miss my landline and old TV, appliances that worked during storms. Now, we get a strong breeze and lose everything. No phone, light, television, computer. Not convinced this is progress.
I can’t wait to hear your response to the book and artwork, I really enjoyed all the meetings discussing the tone and colors and types of people I wanted represented…and plants and dogs and cats, etc. I think it’s magical. 🙂 I really hope you will enjoy it.
Love you. xoxox
“the restoration of electric power to allow for reconnection to our electronics, weak and unreliable as they are to begin with in America’s rural areas.”
Here, in India, it’s widely assumed that the USA does not have power challenges. When we read more, we learn more.
I remember childhood nights when at least an hour of power outage was the norm. In the Indian summer, my mother would take my brother & I to the balcony, make us lie down & fan us with a handheld fan. We would count down minutes to the hour when electricity would be restored. & when it did, the entire colony would erupt in a hurrah. Every. Single. Evening. What was annoying then is a fond memory now…
Thank you for sharing this memory. What vivid images it conjures, and how true it is that former irritations can become fond memories.
Power outages are relatively infrequent, but can also endanger lives, so while we certainly don’t experience them as a daily event, they are always unwelcome.
Ours goes down during storms, which also take out our internet, phones, and television, so not all tech is truly innovative. Our old landlines were lifesavers in storms and the analog televisions rarely stopped working. Now, it’s challenging to call the power company and follow the storm forecast.
People in cities and towns are really unaware how poor the tech provision is in much of the US, often just a mile or two from the towns. It makes it very challenging during this pandemic, when people need information and students need access to virtual schools. I hope this will change if we’re blessed with wiser leaders.
Thank you again for sharing the beautiful memory of your mother’s love. Be well and safe. Gentle peace, and reliable power sources to you.