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Is Anyone Listening?

Does anyone else feel as if the world has been flipped on its axis? Does anyone, perhaps those that are in self-quarantine completely alone and experiencing an even deeper isolation feel that anyone is listening? Are we listening to what mother-earth is telling us? Have we noticed that the birds seem to be singing louder and more joyfully this spring while we are in the #stayathome mode allowing for a cleaner and quieter environment? Is anyone listening to the ultimate message in our extended time of Corona? These have been a few of the many questions that have been running through my head. More than a couple of months in isolation has my mind not only working overtime but in overwhelm.

Most of us have been in self-isolation due to the necessity of safety and the protection of others during a pandemic. Isolation is not new to me. As humbling as it may be, I've been on my own for some time. Granted, it's not just being single but getting through a long journey with breast cancer and the 9 surgeries that ensued from complications tends to set you apart--to live in a parallel Universe where life and connection starts to get blurry and you feel as if you're disappearing and risk becoming obsolete.

But I've survived and have always wondered about anyone really listening. Is anyone paying attention to opportunities to connect with others more vulnerable in the most authentic way, even if it's not pretty or pleasant? I understand that difficulty is repelling to some. A person's troubles or illness can be off-putting but it's a reality of life. Is there someone in your life that might be going through this all alone, struggling without income, or burdened in other stressful ways that you can call on? Yesterday, for the first time in more than 2-months, a friend dropped by. She wore her mask, we kept our social distance and couldn't give each other a hug, but a short visit with her and the little bag of treats she brought was so meaningful to me. It did my heart good. Our world may be forever changed. Will we listen to the message in the big picture? Wildlife have been coming out bravely in the streets, air and oceans. After all, they were here before us. Swans and dolphins have been appearing in the Venice canals. All over the world (even in the most polluted cities), wildlife are feeling free from people and pollution to be themselves. If we listen to one another and mother nature, perhaps good can come on the other side of this. The planet is, (like all of us are) divinely designed and created. When the natural order of things is being destroyed, illness

and a continued sad demise will be the result. Will we listen? Did it take a pandemic for all of us to wake up? There's an incredible opportunity here to show more care and hear the cries of a planet hurting and the discourse that has developed not only in the world, but our own country is damaging to the soul. We can listen to what the planet and wildlife need. We can treat our planet and fellow-man with care. We can treat ourselves well by eating sustainable and organic, which builds our immune system and takes better care of the earth. With all this said, (and in absolute sane honesty) there is also a virus called Trump, and he has caused massive destruction not only from his corruption, narcissism, ignoring the warnings of a pandemic crisis, the health of the planet, wildlife; as well as decency, dignity and democracy itself. When many are looking at the message our lockdown has given us and the distraction of the Corona virus threat, Trump lifted ALL the EPA restrictions...restrictions that protect our fragile environment, health and well being. It has been a struggle for many, financially and otherwise. I include myself in experiencing periods of stress and deep sadness. I will always express raw truth in my writing because I know that there are others that are going through great difficulty and either unsure how to express it, feel all alone in their challenges, or embarrassed to show their vulnerability. Some of us are totally alone, lost loved ones, challenged with more responsibility, or loss of work and income. Even when lockdown lifts and we go back to a somewhat normal way of life, it will take a long time to recover in our grief, economy, as well as our minds and hearts. Be well. Listen well. Live well. Keep on swimming through life, Valerie Anne

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