Right Now, It’s Okay to Be Soft.

Today is my 40th birthday and, oh, there is so much to ponder. So much over the last year has broken me. So much has summoned that fragmented strength that only seems to crystalize when the desperate choice is to crumble in hopelessness or stagger forward in determination. Originally, for my annual birthday soliloquy, I was going to write about that personal struggle.

But this year brought something else. Something that isn’t breaking only my heart, but breaking the world’s hearts. While racing for survival, we are being forced to slow down and reconsider everything from our daily tasks to our deepest fears. I am not grateful for the pain we are collectively experiencing, but I am grateful for the love it is raising. In these hard times, may we hold protective space for our healthcare workers, grocery store clerks and all other essential personnel. Even in our exhaustion, may we shine the light of our souls on every other soul we encounter, remembering light need not be blinding to reach a heart sitting in the dark. Right now, it’s okay to be soft.

Softer
By JM Guzzetti

It's not like the fences have been smashed
and lay splintered in the grass.
It's more like they're melting
puddles of fabricated fear
transformed.

Love seeping into the soil
where flowers curled and buried
for far too long
are awaking, blossoming, giving
their fragrance smiling 
at our elderly neighbor 
perched in his chair on the porch. 

For the first time in a long time
we wave to each other across the yard.

It's not like the highways have crumbled
piles of rubble on the ground.
It's more like they're sleeping
deep breathing.
Their silence 
holding space
for our healing.

Pheasants and turkeys and deer
all taking their turn 
the trees exhaling deeply
after hyperventilating 
trying to transform
our exhaust for far too long.

For the first time in a long time
our commute is keeping us home.

It's not like our obligations have evaporated
with nothing to do
but cook in our kitchens
play with our children
and connect with friends.

It's more like something has shifted
aware now that our inbox 
was the most important recipient 
of our time and attention 
for far too long. 

We're walking softer today.
Our walls only silky petals to see through.
Our roads less travelled
a silence to breathe through.

For the first time in along time
we realize our lives
 should we be fortunate enough to keep them
are a journey to love through.

There are many inspiring stories of kindness and love throughout this pandemic. The Lily posted 8 personal accounts that just may bring tears to your eyes.

We invite you to share your personal stories or poems describing your most beautiful or most difficult moments during this pandemic by emailing us at correspondance@theheartpost.com.

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