Silver Linings


In life and in relationships, oftentimes, partners, lovers, siblings experience their personal ebbs and flows opposite of the others. When I am scared or down or troubled, often, my husband isn’t. He can be there for me to help counter my mood, hold my hand to allow me to step out of it. I can do the same for him when he is down, and I’m not.

I believe that a person’s energy, emanating from their feelings and moods and thoughts, is a very real thing that others coming into contact with them pick up on, whether consciously or unconsciously.

I’ve read and listened to speakers who believe there is also a collective energy and a collective consciousness when many people feeling the same feelings can impact cosmic karma. Some would say, I guess, that many praying or meditating for someone really can cause a positive outcome.

If this is true, it seems we’re together experiencing possibly the grandest example of a collective experience. Our entire world is living a similar reality simultaneously. Many of us are gripped with fear and concern. Many are sick and dying. Some are lonely and depressed. Many are grateful for the simplest of things (nature, shelter, food, work, a loved one in our space).

Plant earth is blue and there’s nothing we can do.

Well, there’s a lot we can do actually. Many of us are. Many of us will from here. Many of us are collectively experiencing an introspection that we’ve not before. We’re seeking, questioning, valuing.

Amidst the fog, we’re getting clearer.

Bronnie Ware, a hospice nurse, wrote in The Top Five Regrets of the Dying that the number one regret people had was wishing they had had the courage to live the life that they knew they were destined to live. Had they thought this earlier in their lives, I wondered? Courage – was it courage they needed? Or a push? A push that certainly comes when you’re running out of time. Then there is an urgency.

I have two sons living in southern capital cities. Austin, Texas is the 11th largest city in the U.S. (Boston is 22nd in comparison). It is crowded and expensive. Both Raleigh, North Carolina and Austin experienced more protesting and rioting, amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, than we have in Portland, the largest city in Maine.

It was only a few weeks into our sheltering-in-place, before the riots, when we were researching the closest Quick Cares and hospitals to our Raleigh son. None of us had thought to do that yet since his move. Healthy young man – it wasn’t one of our highest priorities. We bought and sent him a thermometer (neither he nor we had one) and masks when they finally arrived.

It felt a bit like an Aha moment when all of sudden, I kind of let go. I released, surrendered. With a very clear head and mind, I told my husband that if either of my sons took ill with the virus, I was on my way to them – by plane, train or automobile. It was “game over” for me and I knew steadfastly, I didn’t need to give it a second thought.

That acceptance and clarity seemed to set the tone for the many weeks that have followed. I’m still a little scared. I pray every night. My heart palpitates occasionally, seemingly out of nowhere. I have periods when I am weepy and can’t quite shake it.

But if we can say there are any silver linings in all this (and of course, there are and there will be if we collectively choose wisely from here), one is the crystal clarity of what matters most to each of us.

What would you do if you had 3 months to live?

Silver lining – perhaps it’s time, if never before, to be clear and convicted – and just do it.

When you’re down and troubled

and you need some loving care

and nothing, no nothing is going right.

Just close your eyes and think of me,

yes, and soon I will be there

to brighten up even your darkest night.

You just call out my name and you know

wherever I am, I’ll come running.

To see you again.

(Sung by James Taylor, written by Carole King)

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