The little tree I sit under at lunch each day provides me with shade and a welcoming perch - my "spot" has has a wooden bench that is a cool summer oasis in my busy work day. I often get lost in a few book chapters or some lilting music. But I no longer feel safe under my tree and although there is no obvious threat, I just don't feel sure of anything anymore.
Even my most optimistic and cheery friends are feeling blue these days. It seems that everyone is down an octave or two on the happiness scale. How can they not be? Our phones bleep nearly everyday with horrific things and despair knows no bounds. Yet, the world only pauses a moment and is off and running again, yanking us right behind it.
I've been thinking about how I can continue to live with serenity in troubled times of fear. I believe if I am serene and calm then I can be a beacon for others. If I feel anxious I can still act as if I am composed because scientists have proven that once you get the body moving, the mind follows. That's a fact.
Having peace of mind when the news is horrible has been done before: consider Rosie the Riveter and the women of the Homefront. They too, lived with fear and after all, WWII was a global war. They worked hard, creating Victory Gardens and going to work to make the goods and services they hoped would bring their men home sooner. Rosie the Riveter really was rosy and also a little workhorse. They dug in their heels and tarried in dirt and factories. They painted bedrooms and fixed faucets. They opened up their homes and fed friends and family.
I believe Rosie the Riveter had a choice - she didn't have to step up to the plate - she chose to. Working hard, staying busy, helping others was more than the best she could do. Rosie saw it as duty, to herself and others...come what may.
So let's make a choice just like Rosie did. Let's choose to be compassionate and hard-working. Every day. Let's preserver despite the bleating phone messages. And when we can, we'll break the day with a rest on a bench under a fearless tree. Because we at least deserve that.
PS: I bet our Rosie's above are wearing red lipstick too - Victory Red!