by Suzanne Brita Schecker, Treehouse Community, Easthampton, MA

I want to honor the hundreds of thousands of lives being taken by this virus by not going back to sleep—by remembering the grandparents, parents, siblings, and sometimes, children who are dying alone, their loved ones unable to be with them in their final moments.

I want us to keep singing to one another from our terraces and porches, to applaud our doctors and nurses, when they change shift each day at 7:00. I thank the teachers who prepare lessons for their students to learn on line, the store clerks, ambulance drivers, the people who deliver our mail and everyone who does an essential job wearing mask and gloves hoping they will not become infected. I want us to have a reliable safety net, regardless of politics, that will always provide for basic needs of food, clothing, health care and shelter for everyone who falls behind, who needs a hand up…

The universe has sent us a warning and it contains the gift of increased awareness. Our living earth is bleeding; her air, land and water is poisoned, her forests on fire. Our animal species are in pain, many at the edge of extinction, and human suffering is beyond what our hearts can bear.

We are here now at a crossroads. The dark ones are eager to have us go back to sleep, to return to business as usual. But we can listen instead to a song rising from deep within our soul, one that, as Richard Rohr put it, carries the collective “longing to heal our world.”

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