woman having tea

What to Remember

I know we are anxious to get out, to get on with our lives. But before we rush out like a bull out of his cage, let’s take a moment to consider what we want to remember of this time. Let’s take an inventory now of what we want to protect as we emerge into the new world.

Here is my list.

Advertising spaces that once promoted stuff that no one needed turned into works of art and visual messages of hope, gratitude and public safety. (Source: NPR)
The Himalayas stand clear to view from Pathankot, in the Punjab. The coronavirus lockdown has rapidly reduced pollution
The lack of smog cleared the air, and the majestic Himalayas came into view from over 100 miles away. (Source: The Times) (Forbes article on lower pollution here)
We recognized the real heroes. (Photo courtesy of Gregg Adams, MD.)
Home Remedies for Lower Back Pain That are Really Effective
We had permission to rest. (New York Times article) (Chronicle of Higher Education article)
IMAGE: Canal in Venice
The canals of Venice ran clear. (NBC News story)
Small businesses stepped up and contributed to the cause. In this case, a distillery started producing hand sanitizer.
Bjarke Ingels Group unveils plans for massive solar ...
Professional athletes pledged their (very generous) salaries to support arena workers during the shutdown. (Sports Illustrated story here)
With Yosemite closed to visitors, bears are thriving ...
Bears and other wildlife reclaimed Yosemite National Park. (MSN story)
Data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite revealed a mini ozone hole over the Arctic in 2020. Photo: Iincludes Modified Copernicus Data (2020), Processed By DLR/BIRA/ESA
Largest Arctic ozone hole on record closes itself up The ozone is the Earth’s sunscreen, protecting life from harmful ultraviolet radiation.

There were a lot of awful things that have happened and likely will continue to happen. Many people in positions of power have acted despicably. Health care providers, many who were already ravaged by burnout, are traumatized.

No one will emerge from this untouched.

But there are so many stories of what we can do, of what the world can be like. What do you want to remember?

You Reading This, Be Ready

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life –

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

William Stafford

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