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  • Marian Willeke

Getting Back in Focus


Getting COVID was bad enough. But the moment I realised that my strongest Earl Grey blend tasted exactly like ... hot water ... despair hit me like a wave.


The home remedies of any illness include ginger soup and tea. Also, some peppermint or grapefruit essential oil for a sense of cleanliness. And of course, comfy blankets and pillows spritzed with room spray.


You may be seeing a trend. A smell can remind me of memories, and take me there instantly and fully. I spend more time smelling the tea than I do drinking the tea. You take all of this away, and <bam> ... it's rock bottom. Instantly.


I was on Day #4 of this wretched virus at that time. I shuffled off to bed, numb and miserable.


The next two days though, adjusted my focal lens. When my partner said he was feeling constricted in his breathing and he was scared, I went into full terror mode. Nothing else mattered. Then I watched the baby get sicker. More congested.


These are crystalising moments in your life. I've always understood fragility of life, but also the great resilience humans have. In these moments though, you only see the fragility. Over 2,000,000 people have died from COVID, what makes my family an exception?


The answer is: nothing.


I could only lay there with him and the baby, and count every precious minute we have together.


These last several months, since moving to Asheville, have left us so ... busy. As these painful minutes crawled by though, I remembered moments that actually mattered, and that they were far fewer than the ones that really didn't matter.


I may not be able to smell or taste. But I can have his arms around me.

I may be quarantined. But I can turn off the sad filters on my eyes and see beauty.


I used to think that I needed tea ceremony and meditation to really get into bigger picture, but I discovered that extreme clarity can get you there too.


I promise myself that I'll never forget this clarity. But I will. It's what humans do. I'm not worried about that though; not right now. Right now, I'm focused on what matters most, in this moment.

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