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The Big Timeout, a poem by Rev. Tracy Sprowls and friends (April 2020)

While humans are in this big time out, I heard dolphins are swimming in the canals of Venice, and while this isn’t exactly true,

Goats are roaming the streets in small Welsh towns,

Deer, raccoons, and even monkeys are taking over empty streets in towns and cities everywhere,

and coyotes are walking across the Golden Gate Bridge.

And in the quiet, scientists can hear the movement of the Earth’s core.

Even the Himalayan Mountains can be seen by people in villages one hundred miles away, for the first time in thirty years.

When they say we can’t change the world…remind them when we did just that. In thirty days (give or take).

We didn’t choose to. A virus chose for us.

But going forward, let the choice be ours.

For the returning, let us choose…

connection, over and over, in so many myriad ways

to use our time wisely, choosing people over all else

to remember we are all connected in this web of life

to forge a new path, one that honors the Earth and all living beings

silent stillness as we treasure the feel of loved ones

to hold hands with the forgotten ones as we continue on our journey anew

compassion over fear. generosity over scarcity. neighbors over television.

to nurture our gardens, our families, our souls, as here is where we find the ‘food’ we need to sustain us

to practice patience and understanding with our families, friends, and strangers, for we may not understand all they are going through

to be honest with our children, so that this time we all endured becomes a thread of a unique color, stitching together the generations that lived it

to walk more, drive less, to value people more than things, to take time to care for each other and also ourselves, to spread kindness to all those we meet, and to appreciate each day as the precious gift it is

to hold each other dearly, to empower and be empowered, to work collectively to ensure healthcare, housing and food for all

to live with wise intention, that we might share the streets, that we might balance our needs and have enough for all species to live in peace

to realize everything doesn’t have to be done today, to relax and enjoy bird song much louder than traffic, neighbor helping neighbor with smiles in our eyes

to remember all life is sacred and the Earth is our living mother

connections to nature in our own backyard

quiet space for thought

to continue to ask, how is your family? how are you feeling? are you safe?

to continue to sit on the front lawn and greet neighbors walking by

the pleasures of spending time alone

to listen to the sigh and the song of the soul

So may it be…

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