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  • Earlene Gleisner

Resilience for Now and the Future

An orange flavored sky cast its light through the venetian blinds and across my duvet. Stripes of color to decorate an understated pattern on the down-filled coverlet. The room was lit as if in sunset mode, reminding me the smoke was not blown away during the night nor had the fires miraculously diminished.

One day last week, I saw blue sky and white clouds. With that one change in the landscape, even though all the anxiety-induced pressures of life remained, my heart soared. My walk that morning felt freer in limb and song. Every other concern remained, but the lack of smoke pressing from above and all around brought a reprieve. I greedily wanted more days like that.

Of course, it wasn’t to be. Another fire erupted, and the wind blew back at us, so anxiety and all the pressures returned. To survive, I had to dig deeper into my groundedness, my base of operations, so to speak. I am no longer asking myself about my future or the future of our world. I no longer make any firm plans for next week, or the next. I have a general outline of day to day needs, and I follow as much of a routine as I can.

What I ask of myself is what can I do today to feel any level of satisfaction?

What is it my body needs? A nap, a stretch, a walk, a shower?

What does my social-self need? To talk to someone on the phone, through a mask at the store or on the street. (I strike up conversations wherever I am to service this need.) Maybe I practice singing or write a note. Be with trees. Get a bouquet of flowers.

What does my emotional-self need? A good laugh or cry? Chocolate? A special cup of tea? A notebook so I can write and process an issue or begin a gratitude list.

What about my creative self? Do I need to craft something? A potholder, a poem? A stir fry or cookies? A drawing or just read a book?

And then there is the spirit in me.

What will soothe its needs? A prayer, meditation, classical music, or a ceremony? A drumming journey perhaps or time to observe the changes in my patio garden when the hummingbird whirs in to drink from the neighbor’s feeder.

So many decisions to make in one day that I am kept busy with today.

Sometimes today’s choices lead into tomorrow’s so that I have built for myself a continuity that is tangible. I have contrived a firmer grip on what is now, and I can move one step at a time into the future, no matter what the happenings are in the world where I have so very little control.


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