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The sun is playing hide-and-seek outside and everything is still. No movement in the trees, hardly a peep from the birds. That’s how it feels inside too…I am wanting only to hold on to what feels like nothing. (How can that make sense?) I ask myself if that means I have moved to another stage of this new mode of living, settling into what will surely be called “pandemic mode” but just as surely could be named listlessness or exhaustion. When I knew we were going to spend more than weeks in “quarantine” (the “just stay home” order), I had a vision of clearing away all sorts of excess in my living space and lack of order in my spiritual and physical routines. Now after almost two months of this new kind of opportunity, I see little progress.

We don’t have any idea of what the future holds and can’t hold on to any past certainties so have been told repeatedly to “live the present moment.” Therein lies the rub on days like today when I have a list of tasks in my head but no sense of how to go about them.

So finally I picked up a little, lovely, home-made book of prayers that our friend Carolyn created a couple of years ago and sent as a gift. There I found near the end of her prayers a possible way to meet each hour of this day. Carolyn speaks:

Dear Jesus, I inhale your words and exhale doubt, fear, anger, judgment and despair so your breath may reach my heart whole, clean, unencumbered, pure, alive and joyous. Thank you.

And I say, “Thank you, Carolyn” for a way through this day, this collection of present moments that I can use as an offering that becomes my best gift of self today.