calm: practising gratitude during the pandemic

What if we refused to join in with the grumbles, moans and complaints on the internet and other place during the pandemic, even in our own homes, perhaps? We could choose to keep calm, encourage others, and speak of hope, faith and love in adverse circumstances.

How can we best support our souls during these stressful and strange Covid-19 days? Maybe by enjoying the little things: feed our faith, practise gratitude, aim to savour extra time with our loved ones, rest for our health’s sake, maintain our creativity, and withdraw from information overload and overwhelm.

We can pray for family and friends,  health care workers and governments, as well as the world situation in general. Another thing that might help keep us sane, especially if we can’t exercise, is stepping outside now and then for a slow, 30 seconds or more, fresh air inhale/exhale.

Because nature has healing powers. Yes, even if our garden or balcony growing space is a tiny or weed-ridden plot! 🙂 Size doesn’t matter. What counts is seeing living greenery.

Creation’s calming beauty helps soothe our frazzled souls, and opens our hearts to the simple gratitude of being alive. I always appreciate rare days when I can get outside for a while because enjoying the little things counts.

converse - landscape - hills - sky - sunset - Creation's calming beauty helps soothe our frazzled souls quote (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

Life in the time of the coronavirus

I hear the flaxen-haired toddler
from two doors away
chattering nineteen to the dozen

as I peg light laundry to line, with sun
warming my arms for the very first time
this year, this spring, in a sudden
burst of seasonal heat.

She is running, running, running
the length of her small garden
and back again, as if her tiny feet

don’t know how to stop
their forward momentum, their racing
along to an inner beat.

We’re meant to be avoiding others
as our country struggles
with the coronavirus and its effects,
and I think we are far enough apart

even though I can just make out
the top of her hurrying head
across our low garden walls.

Her parents smile up at me and speak
in their broken English, nuanced
as it is with a Polish dialect,

while I reply and smile at them
and watch their delightful
little daughter running again.

Such sacred holy ordinary moments
still exist but we have to make
a deliberate effort

to notice them and let our anxieties
slip, as we converse at a distance
with the international language
of hope and joy and love and peace.
© joylenton

calm - woman looking out a window -practising gratitude during the pandemic (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

Gratitude helps us appreciate all our days, whatever they might bring to us. Because the altitude of our hearts determines the attitude we will have.

If we’re able to live more in the moment, then we can welcome it, whether outwardly good or bad, as we seek to live with our eyes open to the potential it might bring.

You might benefit from these 10 soul care suggestions for maintaining calm. Brother David Stendl-Rast also offers a glimpse of how we can be gratefully mindful for each new day.

What’s helping you feel more like a human being and less like a potential repository for a horribly invasive virus? What’s aiding you to stay calm and keeps you on an even keel in these shaky, uncertain times? Do share below so we can help one another.

4 thoughts on “calm: practising gratitude during the pandemic

  1. “Creation’s calming beauty helps soothe our frazzled souls.” Definitely, Joy! And what a “sacred holy ordinary moment” God gave you when you noticed your neighbors. 🙂 I love the 10 soul care suggestions and the video, too. Tears sprang to my eyes listening and watching the calming video. Thank you so much, my dear friend for sharing your words and these other resources to help calm our frenzied souls! Love and blessings of calm, anxiety-free days!

    • Trudy, it’s clearly evident from your blog post words and images that you love creation’s beauty and find it soothing to your soul. What a gift to have such gorgeous photos from your brother to share as well! I’m so pleased you enjoyed the video. It really spoke to me too. And I’m grateful too that the words and resources here are as helpful as I hoped they would be. Here’s to “blessings of calm, anxiety-free days” as we learn to rest our fears in God and trust that something good will eventually come out of this awful scenario. Love and hugs! xo 😊❤️

  2. Oh Dear Joy,
    These are such beautiful words that you have shared here today! I hope that you will be able to slip this beautiful poem over the fence to bless your neighbors in return for the blessing they gave you. What a precious gift in the middle of such long and hard days. Truly, if we allow God to open our eyes to see with His perspective, there are such gifts that we would otherwise miss. I haven’t been able to step outside this week, and yet, He brought the lovely song of spring’s first wren right outside my window this morning. Thank you so much for always lifting our eyes and hearts upward to God’s beauty, dear friend. I pray that you are blessed with more of His daily graces. Love and hugs and blessings to you today! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, oh how I love your keen eye for beauty! Our housebound lives tend to make us eager to discover it in the mundane moments, don’t they? As for my neighbours,they don’t converse with us that much in general. Actually, we don’t even know their names, although we hear them addressing their daughter most of all. So I’m not sure how good their comprehension of English poetry might be or even if they’d be offended by my interest in their family. So I will refrain from sharing my words with them for now, at least. But I love the suggestion anyway. And I love the gift God gave to you of hearing spring’s first wren singing outside your window. How marvellous! I think you are just as adept, if not more so, in lifting your readers’ eyes and hearts “upwards to Gods beauty”, my friend. May we both be blessed with more of His daily graces in the days and weeks ahead. Love, hugs and blessings to you, too! xoxo 🌸💜

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