Pandemic and pathways


Path through the Moreton Bay Fig trees at the Botanic Gardens

The covid-19 virus is the big news this week – I have heard people talking about it on the tram, and in the street, as well as among my friends, and it’s of course on all news bulletins. Restrictions are beginning to take effect, limiting cultural activities and travel among other things. It’s hard to know quite how to handle it all, apart from good hand hygiene, and trying not to worry too much. I caught up with my friend Megan earlier in the week – and she put me onto this excellent poem. It is a bit on the ‘spiritual’ side, but lovely…


What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

Lynn Ungar

And of course, there is still beauty aplenty everywhere. I was at the botanic gardens today and was struck by all the various paths that have been created – some by makers and planners and gardeners at the garden, some by nature itself (the water courses of the creek, the light on water) and some just by repeated footfalls… Here are some snaps (click to enlarge as usual):


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