I can relate to and empathize with the battle that is raging in Sue’s heart. I imagine many of you have similar feelings. It is difficult to witness actions that will increase the needless suffering.
A battle in my heart
by Sue Robin, Los Angeles, CA
My morning was spent repotting, trimming and feeding the plants on the front deck. I usually have fresh herbs in a planter or two, but we had a drip system failure and those herbs went to plant heaven. Eventually, when the lockdown is lifted, they will be replaced. While I miss having a yard to sit in, I am rewarded a hundredfold with the flowers spilling out of the pots and the fruit trees clinging to the hillside. When I am able to play in the dirt and feel it on my hands, I always have the sense that I have returned home.
And now with my hands washed, probably for the twentieth time this morning, there is a scrumptious Weight Watcher cheesecake cooling on the counter. Soon, a homemade pizza, topped with roasted eggplant, sliced mushrooms and turkey sausage, will be ready for the oven. It is difficult to focus on a book right now, but cooking offers something that will be shared in this hunkered down time.
I have gardened, cooked and done the crossword, all in silence, save for a few sweet words with my honey, for if I were to turn on the television or the radio, I would be bombarded with the current number of deaths from COVID19, the lack of proper equipment for our front line care givers, the utter incompetence in the White House and the shortsightedness of his followers who only see the world through the lenses of greed and selfishness. While all of that dismalness does not disappear in the silence, the quiet does allow me to focus on the beauty of the garden, the nurturing quality of the food, and to remind myself that good will, indeed, triumph over evil.
But it is hard to know what in our current world is most disturbing. Most people would agree that the countless deaths from COVID-19 is an unspeakable horror. Others think that being told not to leave their homes is that horror, even if it is meant to minimize the spread of this disease. They carry placards saying, “Give me liberty or give me death.” If it were just their own deaths that their return to work would cause I might be tempted to let them have at it.
However, it is not such an easy formula, and those who die may not be the ones carrying the placards, but someone else’s daughter, grandmother or father. These people who are anxious to re-open the economy at the expense of human lives are the same ones who think abortion is an anathema to society. They are egged on by the orange idiot living in the White House. He calls for liberating the states from the lockdown, again turning to a conspiracy theorist for his briefings, instead of the medical and epidemiological experts.
There is a battle raging in my heart. An angel hovers near to remind me that we do not want to become what we detest. Intermittently, a devil offers other advice in an attempt to sway me from right action. Thus far, the angel has the most cogent argument and I remain stead-fast in my desire to live a life filled with loving kindness and good deeds and to remember that the devastation that is COVID-19 and the tenure of Donald Trump are both temporary though the pain they leave in their wake will linger. It is my hope that the pendulum will swing in the opposite direction and that respect for science, the earth and all humans will soon be our daily fare.