At some point I have to leave here and go there. I keep looking for official advice. “When is it safe to travel?” I read “The Los Angeles Times”, “The New York Times” to see if there are any updates? Forget TV “news”. All hype. Florida’s loosened their rules, so has Texas. The “liberators” are charging City Halls. People are getting antsy. We all are: But I refuse to be “one of them”, the disrespectful, the conspiracy theorists, the folks with political placards who are turning this medical test into some kind of New World Order made-for-Netflix series.
I want to do the right thing. I don’t want to get sick. Nor do I want to get anyone else sick because of my need to return home. Yes, I need to get home to my dogs, my garden, my ocean, my backyard–my bed. But I don’t want to do that at the expense of strangers and those I love. God forbid Covid-19 makes me become self-centered.
I’m truly blessed:The crisis has allowed me to hang out with my new granddaughter and witness my daughter and son-in-law become parents. We are spending quality time together that I will cherish forever. But I also know it’s time for them to experience this new life together as a family. They have sacrificed precious apartment space with me and new parent time. They don’t complain, but now I’ve moved into their bedroom, stolen my son-in-law’s work space, not to mention my opinion, of which I have many. I bite my tongue a lot, but not nearly enough. They are saints to put up with me.
So I’m thinking two more weeks. In 14 days the virus will have hopefully flattened in NYC and Los Angeles.I will have been responsible. I will have been helpful.
And I will return home an entirely different person.
2. I am Officially Adaptable. I love routine. I love nesting. I love predictability and this last five weeks has been anything but.
But now I know I really am capable of being flexible. I resist, but I have proven to myself that I can sleep on a mat in the living room for 4.5 weeks and not complain and listen to trains all day and night and re-focus my attention on my mission–to be of service, to learn and grow–to enjoy.
3. I knew this before I arrived, but I am seared–tattooed–by The Power of Love. I would do anything for my grown children and now three grandchildren. They are my heart and soul. Family IZ everything. Sticking together, doing what’s right even when we’re bored and would rather be off dining at our favorite restaurant or hanging out at the beach. I love my family so much that I refuse to do anything that may jeopardize their lives, and the lives of others.
So I will wait to buy the one-way plane ticket back to L.A. until I know for sure that it’s safe. Yes, it may cost me more money to wait until the last minute, but I have to do what is right.
A friend of mine recently emailed me a photo of a beautiful canvas with an open-ended landscape of an impressionistic golden field, flaming sunset and a cloud-mottled sky. “What is the place in you this day where you open and let eternity in?” reads the embedded caption.
The unexpected email reminded me: I still have some things I have to think about before I leave.
Such as the mystery of the Navaho rug, the unfinished spot where Spirit is said to enter. I have known of this, but completely forgot about it until my friend’s email reminded me. The blank spot, the “imperfection”, is a call to be open to the wondrous unfolding of life.
For the first time since arriving in NYC, I open the rain-crusted sliding glass window and close my eyes: Along the tracks of the roaring train, in the nightmare of sirens, the neighbor’s lilac bush perfumes the night. I can hear the beating, beating heartbeat of grandmas and grandpas, teachers and students, cousins and aunties, healthcare workers and all the everyday heroes who are safe in in their homes tonight because you and I waited.