Hello dearest people of the light. How are you? Right now I would be reading to my daughter, snuggled up in her bed, watching her intelligent fingers speak as she asks questions and draws conclusions, feeling her long feet press against my belly as they did from the inside four years ago. I’d be listening to my son practicing piano, what new song he is learning, because he teaches himself from you tube when he’s bored of his lesson, which is always. But tonight, we know school has been cancelled. I came home from the obligatory shopping but the kids aren’t hungry, for all that, their vitality is sapped. “I know you want to watch tv,” I say, “and I want to write, so I’ll see you in an hour.” Yay, screens on a week night! Why not? There is no schedule, for a month or more. Yet the joy that bubbles when children suddenly don’t have to go to school in the morning is solemnly capped, perhaps because New York has been declared a State of Emergency.
My first thought at the declaration is of the hungry, homeless people who are in this state of emergency all the time. The people around the world who are dying of hunger everyday, is this not also an emergency? Aren’t we already in a climate crisis? Perhaps we are also in a state of emergence. Or can be. The stock market is not an index for how well we are being, is it?
In the face of this challenge, as a mother and an artist, I feel slightly liberated because I can’t plan, which is a usual source of stress. I have to be a simpler organism, and I’ve heard the simplest organisms see the universe as it really is.
Days into this self proclaimed state of emergence, my kids home as is normal, we are all learning new routines. Order comes when it comes. I must refer to one of my favorite books as a child, “The Country Bunny”, for guidance. It’s a wonderful tale about a mother who loses sight of her dreams to raise twenty one children, but in doing so, frees herself by teaching them to be independent, helpful and caring individuals, each with a job around the house, so she can pursue her dream again. And then her journey truly begins. Because she’s wiser and her heart has grown in caring for her children, she is picked to do the most important job, and most difficult job, of any Easter bunny; to deliver a special egg to a very sick child up the steepest mountain.
As a child I focused on certain parts of the story, and now as a mother I focus on the moment, after a treacherous fall, when the old grandfather bunny shows up and gives her something she has dearly earned which makes her able to leap the mountain in two jumps. The reason for his belief in her, and his gift to her, and his choosing of her, in my opinion, is her integrity.
Isn’t that a word not heard very often? We hear always about the struggle of a person, what the person has overcome, and we relate of course because every human bar NONE has to overcome treacherous, mountainous obstacles. For me, the most interesting part of a story is not the Dream which makes us rise out of the muck and be born again as a success, but rather the ever rare and golden character which may grow to define a person, or bunny, because of their Integrity.
I have been in a state of integration and emergence with my children. All comforts are spontaneous, most successful activities are by accident, I’m learning to homeschool, I’m learning what they are learning when I’m lucky, I’m practicing not being driven by internal desires to accomplish my goals, being comfortable feeling helpless, and precariously balanced without moving forward or back. Sort of like being present.
At the subway station where I am not going until who knows when, there has always been a slender, well put together man/woman and he/she says pleasantly, “you’re looking thin today”, as if we know each other, perhaps work on the same floor. Now that I’m not whooshing by, I’m thinking about that someone who doesn’t get a second thought, that some one who has stood in the same place every day, hot and cold, wet and dry, as if in a state of emergency, a glitch of grief, a someone who has felt helpless for a long time. I want to acknowledge how hard it is not to get stuck, and how blessed I am to be able to embrace this new normal as an opportunity to emerge a better mother, more whole person, and more insightful artist.
Here’s a phrase that occurred to me last night which may help you in a time of worry: Starting from scratch. Like children, we have everything we need to survive and create, within us. We don’t have to know of any better way to do things than just the way we are trying to do them right now. I pray for all of us to adapt with grace and humor and generosity. I pray for our nation to grow with integrity and emerge a better people toward all creatures and home, planet Earth.
Take care and turn off your devices.
Sophie B. Hawkins
❤ nice !
Stay Healthy all !
Thanks so much Sophie …..You always have great things to say.
Love your honesty and compassion for others. Brave soul. Stay safe everybody.
Uplifting post from a legend of the ages.
Dear Sophie, Your words mean a lot in this message. I just saw the notice about You planning to be in the Earth Day Concert! So I looked you up. I listened to As I Lay Me Down watched the video❤️My husband and I loved your voice loved that song. we related to it. Tonight, it made me cry, as sadly my sweet husband, Bill passed in Jan. I miss him so much, but I do feel him and when the sun comes out it helps me to feel him with me in remembering our special times together.♥️We are blessed that he is not living through this crisis and we were able to have him at home with us, sharing music and memories.I will listen more to your music as it helps me to feel better. I loved your message about your children Stay well Sincerely, Joanne R.