Stop. STOP. That is what I feel down deep in my bones. There is a giant force, whether it is God, the Universe, this virus, I don’t know; but something is demanding that I halt and pay attention.
Part of stopping requires that I acknowledge the great losses happening all around me. We are only a few weeks into this and there has already been much loss that we have not been able to gather and memorialize – Roger Ames, Julia Richardson, David Smith’s father and colleagues in Michigan, my daughter’s 21st birthday which she couldn’t celebrate with her friends. Daily we hear the numbers rise of those who have succumbed to this virus and more things taken away, the Coming of Age trip, Easter, Graduations.
It is a lot to hold alone in our homes.
I worry that as time goes on and the losses grow, that I will forget people and events and they will get lost in the tumbling pile of mounting losses. I want a way to hold them and remind myself how much they matter to me. I’ve put the ones that are heaviest on my heart on an altar I created next to my meditation space.
This morning as I sat down to morning meditation with Forest of Peace (they are doing this on Facebook Live every morning Tues-Sun at 7AM), I lit the candles on my altar and brought that love with me into my meditation time. I felt more connected and grounded and peaceful. On my altar is a physical representation of those I love and care about.
Nicole and I created a community Altar of Love and Memory where you can send us pictures of loved ones, names of events you’ve had to let go of, pictures of mementos – whatever you need us to hold for you. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can find a way to let them go as a community when we gather again.
Knowlan Randza is a long-time member of All Souls and serves as our Facilities and Grounds manager. He can be found tending our Memorial Garden, and creating beauty in and around our church. We like to call it the “Knowlan Effect.”