“While the (church) bells rang and echoed, Nell sat near the edge of the (ocean) water. Here was peace, she thought, and joy. She would never, never take either for granted. She would remember to give something back every day. Even if it was just a heel of bread for the gulls. She would tend what she planted. She would remember to be kind and never forget to offer a helping hand.” Dance Upon the Air, N. Roberts, 2001, p63 .
During this pandemic, I raided my personal library for guilty pleasures. I found the Three Sisters Trilogy by romance novelist Nora Roberts. Each book is dedicated to one of the three “witch-sisters”, empowering herself in a tangled legend of friendship, fate and history. In the first book, Nell has escaped an abusive husband and found an island retreat to begin a new life. She is taking a walk and sits by the ocean while she fills with joy and gratitude. Overtones of the transcendent surround Nell as she feels peace and hears church bells. Nell is celebrating what she has gained, vowing to protect it while she commits to being grateful and being kind to others, as well. Having lived through something bad she is lifting herself to higher living.
Similarly, as I limit my external life to my house and my neighborhood during this quarantine, contrary to the assumption of shutting down internally as well, I feel enlivened. The urge is to do more significant self-care and even kinder living toward others.
All around me I see the same thing in others. The un-breachable treasure of the heart, the capacity to love, is blossoming rather than dying.