Words of WonderLockdown - Richard Hendrick

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,

by Richard Hendrick (Brother Richard)
March 13th 2020


In another week where adapting to the changes in the world has taken centerstage, I was moved by the words of Brother Richard from Ireland. In any challenging situation, the difficulties and fears can easily jump to the foreground and solidly stay there, even though they are rarely the whole story. Both formal and informal mindfulness practice can help to notice when this has happened and without denying the difficulty, give a wider perspective that may bring a bit of ease or even radically change the perception of what’s happening.

I certainly needed to remind myself of this in the last week, but every time I paused there was just so much to be grateful for – a recurrent one has been this community of practitioners I find myself in. May we find new and beautiful ways to connect, to appreciate, to find joy… and may we all be well!

Photo by Philipp Deus on Unsplash