The flames are dancing in the wood stove, sending little flickers of light and shadow around the room. I can hear the clock ticking over my left shoulder, marking the seconds as they go by. It’s dark outside, and overcast. There’s no moonlight. The coyotes who have been chattering every night for weeks have gone silent for now. The house is quiet and still.
Things in the world, especially this country of the United States, remain tumultuous. Events in recent weeks have left people feeling unsettled and anxious about what might happen next. I wonder about what will take place in the days to come. It’s hard not to feel at least a bit of trepidation when “unprecedented” remains the media’s chosen descriptive tool and new astonishing headlines seem to appear every time you refresh the page.
But despite living in these unprecedented times, I find a bit of solace by accepting a few simple things: that most of what’s going to happen on the world stage in the next few weeks is outside of my direct control. But how I respond to whatever does come to pass remains in my grasp. Unprecedented or not. And the tiny, intentional practices that keep me grounded and able to respond how I want to respond are small enough to pick up again if I stumble and lose my grip.
These things are there for you, too, in whatever combination works in your life, to hold onto as we step into the void of tomorrow.
How I show up in my day. What I give my attention to, and where I put my energy. How I watch the steam rising from a hot cup of tea, and how I savor the first sip. What I spend my first and last moments of the day engaged in. The language I use and the words I choose to ask for what I need and extend what I have to give. The way I notice the crunch of snow underfoot and the tiny tracks left by my non-human neighbors. The prayer I whisper into the plume of candle smoke. The love I give. The love I accept. The boundaries I set. The boundaries I honor. The values I live by, and the willingness to peer, even if just for a little while, at something from someone else’s perspective.
If there is any sort of strange gift in all of this unprecedented uncertainty and unrest, perhaps it is a chance to look at where our power lies. A chance to slow things down enough during the average day to see opportunities for change. A chance to live, fully here, right now. A chance to build the capacity to cultivate life-giving soil and deepen our roots. A chance to discern what truly matters to us, and stand for it, no matter what. chance to see those flickers of shadow and light and step into the dance with them. No matter what happens next.
Pick up a copy of 12 Tiny Things: Simple Ways to Live an Intentional Life to discover the combination of tiny things that works for you.Tweet