This week has been one of blessing. It’s been like coming up for air after long submersion.
I’ll never forget how, when I was being clinically trained to serve as a chaplain, a pulmonologist described the struggle to breathe as one of the most frightening experiences a human could endure. This is why COPD patients suffer so excruciatingly, and why end-of-life patients are given a combination of drugs that relieves the sensation of struggling for air and allows greater peace leading to their final exhalation. It has been horrifying to imagine the suffering of Covid-19 patients facing vents while necessarily but heartbreakingly being deprived of the presence and comfort of loved ones.
But we are celebrating blessing: Our brother-in-law, hospitalized with Covid-19 for weeks, is coming home. He has struggled with breathing issues, as many Covid-19 patients do, and will need oxygen support at home. We are told healing can continue, but will require considerable effort to meet the challenges and setbacks that the virus places in its path, some predictable and many unforeseen. But his oxygen tanks will help, considerably.
We are grateful and we are hopeful. We are taking our own long, deep breaths of relief after holding and suspending them while waiting for good news regarding his recovery.
The technology available for the oxygen support that he’ll have available at home is a testament to what science and creativity can achieve, but the humanity and talent of the healthcare workers who have nursed our brother-in-law in the hospital have also earned our gratitude and renewed our hope. In a time of such rampant deceit, self-interest, and ineptitude on the part of those we look to for leadership, the opportunity to witness selflessness and love offered freely, skillfully, and at great personal risk, has re-balanced and widened our hearts. Because of their courage, we’re breathing easier.
And this week, our evenings have offered our spirits deep and invigorating breaths as well: nightly, we’ve experienced talented adults (and children) calling us to inspiring and pervasive hope, clarity, and unity, while realistically underscoring the actions that will sustain us in these pursuits. Over and over, we have been reminded that real power belongs to us. We, the people, must work together to save and renew our union.
We had almost forgotten how good it feels to feel good, to believe that change is possible and near, to take heart in the restoration of behaviors, options, justice, and systemic interdependence we hold dear, and to believe that exciting innovations for protecting our own and the Earth’s welfare will be supported, encouraged, and inclusively realized. May we pursue these hopes with our voices and our votes.
It has been such a gift to breathe as expansively as we have this week. And the strangeness of feeling the fresh, clean air of hope moving through us has revealed how oppressive it’s been to be living submerged, as we have these past years–certainly profoundly during this stunningly mismanaged pandemic. Breathing hope again with greater confidence, we see how severely our spirits have been taxed by the atmosphere and actions of cruelty, crudity, corruption, and the damaging stress they’ve induced.
Gasping for hope and re-submerging; gasping and taking in nourishment shallowly; gasping and losing contact with the core of love that powers our being, the oxygen of hope we require to thrive. Gasping and almost forgetting who we are and what it means to be human.
This week, our hope and focus have been resuscitated.
We have come up for air.
We will not re-submerge.
In gentle peace, and in recognition that we’re here to serve all life with our gifts, in love and authenticity; none above, none below, all in relationship.
© 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.