I’m not an epidemiologist. Or a doctor. Or a calming Zen master, pastor, rabbi or priest. Unfortunately, I can’t create lifesaving vaccines in my garage, or turn my CPAP machine into an improvised ventilator. 

I’m also not a nurse, CNA, therapist or any of the other essential long-term care roles that are heroically holding our world together. So, yes, I’m feeling pretty much useless right about now.

But I do have something to share. 

I went for a walk today and, given my somber mood, it seemed at first inappropriately sunny. But gradually, step by step, truth started breaking through. I passed a waterfall, with its unstoppable deluge, and noticed a gathering of pink buds on a lifeless vine snaking over a rock wall. I passed some blindingly yellow tulips that had forced their way from darkness, and saw spring banishing winter all around me. 

Nothing about my little stroll, of course, changed the reality of the unprecedented crisis we are now facing. But when I felt my feet moving on the earth, my still undulating breath and the breeze brushing across the face I’m not supposed to touch, it was a reminder of a deeper reservoir of truth and calm that’s always available below my feelings of anxiety and helplessness. 

Like that plunging waterfall, life always goes on, in ways welcome and unwelcome. It turns out we’re just a few billion fragile little people watching the universe rush past and through us. 

Our job in every circumstance is simply to do the best we can, which somehow always turns out to be shockingly better than we ever thought possible. 

That’s proven every day, as facility staff rise above their own legitimate fears in incredible ways for those they serve. 

Meanwhile, as we push vainly against forces beyond our control, the world keeps spinning. Nothing stays the same, good or bad, forever. 

This too will pass.