Have you felt that sometimes life is just like a three-ring circus where you have to run from one place to another? Juggling everything like family, work, chores, bills, friends, and that it does not slow down. During this pandemic, uncertainty, and fear, we try to be teachers for our kids, provide food on our tables, and keep sanity when everything keeps falling apart. When nothing is like it was months ago, we are trying to get used to a “new normal,”: using masks, social distancing, and living in constant fear of getting sick or worse.
Yes, life can be tough. Many have lost their jobs, others have lost their health, some others feel trapped or alone. I am sure that there are many stories to tell during COVID-19.
Let me tell you something that I discovered recently during this quarantine. Months ago, I felt like trying to fill many roles in my life. As much as I wanted to succeed in all of them, I kept feeling tired, stressed, and fragile. When this quarantine started, I had fears and concerns about what the future will hold for my family, me, and humanity.
One day I read something that changed my perspective of everything that is going on, “The Lord is my refuge and my strength, a very present help in trouble” Psalm 46:1
One day I woke up and heard the birds singing right outside my window, it was not like other days, when I listened to a couple of birds chirping, it was like a choir of birds singing. I have never heard them so alive and happy.
That day my mind and heart started to sink into what I have read days before: Refuge in the present.
A couple of days later, I was walking around the block, suddenly I turn my eyes upwards, the sky seems so blue and bright, there were no clouds, and I felt peace and joy.
Weeks later, tired of being indoors for almost a month, my son and two of his friends, and I took a hike in a park.
During our walk, we noticed other people walking as well. In the beginning, I felt scared of being in contact with other people. Soon I realized that most people were very polite and kind, moving aside or stopping to let us go through. Others even waved. I felt safe for the kids that came with me and myself, and I felt hope in humanity. As we walked, we found all kinds of wildlife and a variety of beautiful flowers and vegetation. We all felt in wonder to see this beautiful paradise that we never saw before. I felt hope and awe.
A couple of days ago, I was walking at night. In between the bushes, I saw something moving. First, I thought it was a cat, but when it came out, I saw a raccoon for the first time.
During this quarantine, I had time to do a deep cleaning at my house, clean closets, remove stuff that I did not even know I had, and make some furniture changes.
One of the most important things that I could take care of during this time was my family. Before COVID 19, I did not spend much time with them. I always felt tired and rushed. In these moments, we finally had the time to bond by talking and playing. We find time to create by cooking or painting. We see the joy of laughing together and listening to each other.
All these events opened my mind to what I read months ago, and I am sure this would not happen if I did not slow down and stop.
I realize now that you can seek refuge by having more time with family, being in touch with nature, and being thankful for everything. Knowing in my heart that my Creator will give me the strength that I need each day is where I find my refuge. I pray you feel joy, peace, and ease in every day of your life, even in the toughest times.
I know that after all this chaos, we will wake up to our humanity, our kindness, and our faith.
I know that we are going to be better.
Submitted by Guadalupe Maciel, Santa Clara County – Santa Clara.
This was submitted as part of Read Santa Clara, a program of the Santa Clara City Library.