Waiting is hard. Nobody likes to wait. People pay for first class airline tickets and express passes for Disneyland just so they don't have too.
Living in Beijing during COVID-19 feels like a season of waiting.
An invitation to give up control because we don't know a lot of things.
We don't know when the coronavirus outbreak will end.
We don't know when the cases of infections and deaths will stop.
We don't know when school will re-open.
We don't even know if this will affect our summer plans.
We don't know when countries will re-open their borders for travelers from China or when airlines will resume normal operation.
We don't know when we will get a sense of normalcy again but we hope that this - empty streets, ghost towns, having to wear masks everywhere, home quarantines, blocked off neighborhoods, temperature checks, fear & anxiety, and worse, xenophobia will end.
We don't know how this will play out after it's over...
These are just some of the things that we do not know but there are things that I do know, as well.
I know that Love is a powerful force and amidst this uncertainty, if I connect with the Spirit, an energy or frequency beyond myself - God - that I feel peace.
Words from ancient scripture, like Psalm 91 suddenly takes on a personal meaning and takes root in my soul.
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord,
“He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks
in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
Words, promises and reassurances like these shift the mental chaos to clarity.
I also know that being with my family at our home is a good place to be, right now. Balancing e-learning for my classes and homeschooling our kids through this platform ain't easy. Being home has given us access to space, resources and toys that we need to keep a sense of routine. Plus, Ayi is back.
Of course it wouldn't be too bad either to be at the white powdery shores of Boracay sipping fresh mango shakes while working remotely but the girl's passports are at the Canadian embassy being renewed. For three weeks.
There's a bigger hand keeping us here and I will just embrace it rather than fight it.
Human connection is needed, as well. I'm thankful for a community of women and families who have stayed here, with us. We "meet" either through once a week play dates, an occasional "eat out" or through China's most popular social media platform - we chat.
We have a chat group for everything and a couple of my favorites are the "21 Day Fitness community" where women have committed to 21 days to fight the virus by pursuing their health and fitness goals and "the Never-ending pajama party" - where a group of my close Beijing friends hang-out and have virtual wine parties and share counter arguments to some of the false news that we've been receiving about this...it helps that one of our friends work at the World Health Organization so we can access factual information.
Humans need each other. The short two hour dinner - sitting in an empty restaurant about a meter away from each other - with Kim and Rebecca was great and the daily walks that Steve and I have after our e-learning office hours is a routine that I look forward too...every day.
I also know that this will only be a season. No matter how long.
Just like the winter where trees seem barren and dead, something is happening inside; unseen processes are at work that is getting ready for re-birth.
I feel this.
I know this.
So that even if waiting is hard; I will surrender to it trusting that Love will work things out for the good...and spring will come again.