The field of unknowing
On a recent Zoom call with friends the lockdown conversation continued. How has it affected you? Your work? Your lack of work? What do you miss most / least? What do you appreciate? What do you find most challenging? How has it made a difference to how you do things? How do you feel about the ‘new normal’? How do you plan for an unknown and uncertain future? How is the ‘new normal’ for you? How are you ‘being’ in the ‘new normal’?
We shared our thoughts and insights generously and left the call with food for thought. I’ve been sitting with some of those thoughts over the last few days … note the word ‘sitting’. Those of you who know me well, know that I don’t do much sitting nor sit around doing nothing for long! I admit, I’m more of a human ‘doing’ than a human ‘being’. There’s nothing I enjoy more than participating and engaging in work and community projects, meeting people, making plans and celebrating creative connections. I really enjoy the whole business of social interaction even though at times it can be stressful and painful too. I’ve really missed doing many of the things I’ve done before lockdown. The easing of lockdown means that there is opportunity for a little interaction via ‘social bubbles’ and it’s different in the ‘new normal’ environment. I appreciate and understand the need for face coverings, social distancing and non engagement with shielded people (no hugs just yet!). I’m ‘being’ okay with that. For me, it’s important, it’s being responsible, it’s being safe.
I’ve noted how our schools are ‘transitioning’ our children with their new classes and different teachers. Taking time to ‘transition’ is really important as many children have missed out on education, learning and seeing friends. With that comes many feelings and emotions. In many schools, teachers and support staff have really worked hard during lockdown. I admire their patience, tenacity and resilience with ever changing government guidelines. There’s been a lot of work in schools preparing our children for ‘different ways’ and how school will be when they return in September.
Like the children returning to school, we too need to ‘transition’ to new ways of doing and being. I’m learning to use this time ‘to be’, to re-assess, to think about what’s really important and savour the stillness of the quieter days. It's tough! Contemplative walks in nature, I can highly recommend. For now, there’s time and time enough ‘to be’ in the moment and listen for the ‘what elses’ that are being whispered quietly to me. As a busy ‘do-er’, I’ve often missed these whispers. In the meantime, I sit patiently in the ‘field of unknowing’ contemplating my transition to the ‘new normal’.