The wind blows a lot right now. Maybe it always does, but I’m noticing it more these days. I think we all do as we stay home…or if we are some of the few who need to go out. We feel it in different ways, but it is all around the world. Whirlwinds of economic upheaval push down the market so heavily that oil prices are getting a swirly. Heavy gusts of unemployment abound. There are tornadoes of sickness and tragically death. And when this storm passes, we’ll have a world with trillions of dollars of debt from recovery efforts to try to dig out from.
As these gusts pummel us right now, I watch a forest of oaks that tower behind my house handle the natural gusts on a daily basis. They are strong, thick, tall creatures, many of whom have stood for decades. Each planted as individuals once, they now intermingle above and below earth, an incredibly interconnected community, much like our own human society. Because of their strength, I’m always amazed they have the flexibility to wave in the wind, but they do –all the time.
Trees’ ability to move with the breeze, to lean and move based on what comes, to occasionally shed leaves, fruit, or even branches from time to time, then grow up and out again, is what allows them to stand the tests of time. We could learn a few lessons from them right now as we likely all have to make some adjustments. Maybe this year our bank accounts or investment portfolios (for those so fortunate to have either) won’t be as robust as last year. Maybe this year we learn to be a little more grateful for food banks either through dependency on them or the chance to fill them more so we can ensure our neighbors can eat dinner too.
Perhaps this year we learn to truly appreciate our sanitation workers and that they keep our homes and streets clean as they risk their health and safety. Maybe it’s grocers, agriculture laborers picking our food, the drivers who deliver letters, gifts and produce all over the world.
The wind never blows forever. There will be times it lightens, times it even stops. We already have and will continue to lose some magnificent humans, businesses, relationships and opportunities through this storm. But it won’t ruin everything. Destruction forges a space for new growth. It lays a foundation of new strength.
So sink your roots deep to connect with who and what truly sustains you. Lift your hands to help and sustain others however you can. You are not alone in the current struggle. Let this storm move what it will on the surface. When we make it through, we will recover and keep growing.