Well, well, look at where we are. Like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, or like Dorothy being carried off to the land of Oz, we suddenly find ourselves in a world totally changed, unlike anything we have ever experienced.
Gone are the ways we normally act, the things we normally do, the expectations we normally have of what tomorrow will bring. We sit here, blinking, a little stunned, asking, “Where am I? What is this?”
The first week or two are taken up with necessities: What do I have to take care of? What supplies do I need to get? How can I find out what is cancelled or closed? And so forth. But then there comes a time when we can pause, and look around, and try to figure out where we have landed.
Where we have landed, like it or not, knowingly or not, is a place unexpected.
We have entered into a time of great transformation. A very few have predicted such a thing happening, but with no knowing of how it was to come about.
But, suddenly, here we are. The whole world has shifted. It is hard to know how to view such a place. Some might think of it as a zone in time we have entered, or an area of space the Earth has moved into, or a great cauldron of energy we are suddenly immersed in, or a massive group-consciousness event, or the planet having been pushed beyond her limits, or who knows what. But what we suddenly have at our fingertips is a time of shifting.
Just think, now we are in a unique place to decide, together, how we want to remake the world. It is like being in a cocoon, in a time of incubation, a time to change from one way of being in the world into a totally different way of being.
Here we are, each with our time to be alone, to contemplate, to think about what is really important in our lives, to think about how we would like our lives to be when “all this is over,” to look at just how we have been living, and how we would like to be living, and what is happening with the natural world with all our impacts upon it, and what we ought to do to become more responsible Earth-dwellers.
Just with the people I have spoken with in the last week or so, I keep hearing comments about how they suddenly have been pushed into simpler life, and they like it.
It is a chance to become more self-reliant, to become more nature-connected, to get away from the rat-race, to start to think like a homesteader, to look for ways we can take positive action to help each other, even if it is from a distance.
This is a great opportunity to turn our focus from the aspects of the situation, which are a calamity, and spend some of our energy and time working on the potential it holds for humanity. This is a great time to transform ourselves, our society, our world.
Each of us can choose some part to play, however large or small, in the great project of re-designing and re-building our lives and our world and our relationship to our planet. Dream big. What do you really want the world to be like? How can we help the planet recover? Where will your puzzle piece fit into the big picture? There is a lot you can do, even now when it has to be done through the mail or e-mail or phone calls. And you can plan for all the actions you can take later.
In the meantime, as we go through this process, we feel in limbo, neither here nor there, un-anchored. Everything we need to do seems more complicated, and harder to deal with. Let us try to remember that we are all going through this, that we are all uncertain and stressed. It is a time to practice calmness, to be mindful of how we are interacting with others (even after spending an hour and a half on hold on the phone) and try to treat each other with kindness and patience.
And whenever an opportunity arises, spread a little hope and plant a seed of the vision of what we can create on our island and in our world.
Janai Kapua is a resident of Waimea.