Come away, o human child!
To the waters and the wild,
With a fairy, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping,
Than you can understand. – W.B. Yeats
Great unknowns sprout and multiply daily, or so it seems. My lovely daughter in LA was told last night to scurry inside and stay home away from the untold story unfolding outside her door. My sweet youngest daughter carries on working in the face of the plague, and is offered no protection as she faces hundreds of people a day. My kindly son, my oldest angel, continues to provide for the needs of countless strangers, who look past his gentle eyes to see only what they need on the shelves behind him. When they were young, I helped them escape nightmares, and soothed their sweet hearts when cruelty and adversity threatened. But how we all arrived at the reality of today escapes my understanding.
We all are cousins, you gentle readers out there in the wide world. We will never meet, but you and I are not much different from one another. Perhaps you have wiped away the tears of the ones you love, or calmed a frightened child these days. Maybe you have had to, pray for the recovery, or grieved the passing, of a loved one. Think back to your own childhood, when you believed in the magic of fairy tales and favorite toys that sprang to life in your imagination. Summon up fantastic courage to bind the devilish whirlwinds that threaten the very fabric of our civilization. As Yeats said, hand in hand with a fairy of fancy, go into the waters and the wild. Seek the vision of a child who believes in the end – heroes defeat the monster.
So many people are doing what is recommended – practicing social distancing, “hunkering” down, staying home… Within our homes we can take control of a portion of life. We can recall the paths we wished to walk when we were younger. Artists, dancers, actors, … summon up the muse and fan those creative fires. As a single father, I would imagine our front door was a drawbridge. Each night after work I would lock and chain the door, and just be with my children – playing games, talking, reading bedtime stories. Love fills in the dark spaces, lights the darkness when bedtime comes. Find a way these days to allow your dreams to sparkle to life if only for a few hours. Do not just space out and watch videos – create something alone or with those you love.
The future is a blank canvas. Many factors influence the potential outcomes. But this new world which will sprout from the old, is like a watercolor painting. The blank paper holds the promise of so much, but where to begin? There does not have to be a plan. There does not need to be a direction. There only has to be the choice to take the hand of imagination and brush away the dust once it settles. We, the heroes of our own lives, can defeat the monsters with the help of those oh so many unknown angels working out there to keep everything going until the new world dawns. Take care of one another, and DREAM.