Before the Crisis I was always busy. In December, on my birthday, I was en-route to a speaking engagement in Bangladesh and could not attend the home going services for one of my former students. In January, I was once again on a flight to India for a speaking engagement.
Then in February, I traveled to Miami and Alabama for the home going services of friends and family. It was at the Miami home going services of my eldest cousin, that I finally stopped and listened. One of his life long friends said,
I heard him in my spirit, the words resonated. Much of my time had been dedicated to my lifework, but I had not stopped to reflect, to think, to ponder, if it were my last day, have I really spent time with those who appreciate me?
Then in March the world came tumbling down. First, the mandate for smaller gatherings came on March 10; we had what will be the last physical conference of this academic year on March 9th on our campus. Then the scramble to transition to remote work and online learning. Finally the Stay-in-Place order and the cold knowledge that we are in a health and economic crisis the world has never seen.
What this calamity of events has given me is time. Time to spend with my family, my daughter, and granddaughter who I know to appreciate me. Time to visit and revisit by phone others who too are confined to the sanctuary of the home. I am also grateful for the simple things like enjoying the birds’ chirp in the morning or the glimpse of sunrise. And while the crisis continues to rage in ways we cannot yet comprehend, I have become still from the inside out knowing that every day brings new hope and the charge to live my best life.