I am sending this letter to the Daily Mountain Eagle, not as the Mayor of Jasper, but as a citizen who is living alongside everyone else through the strangest time in recent history.
I have had an opportunity over the years to develop friendships with people all over the globe, and one such friendship is with a gentleman from Germany named Gotthelf Lucas. From time to time we talk via text or email. Mr. Lucas has sent me a beautiful poem that touched me as so very poignant that I had to share with you all.
The COVID-19 pandemic is nothing we were expecting, nothing any models of daily operations were preparing for, and nothing any of us saw coming. I believe we will weather this storm; we will come through as a people on the other side, stronger than we are today. But I can’t discard the feeling I have that we are in some way benefitting from the horrible circumstances we are dealing with today. We must look to the positives in order to keep our sanity amidst all the negatives. This poem says everything that I would like to put into words. Enjoy, and it is my hope you will see brighter days soon.
"Midwives of the Soul"
Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
they say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
you can hear the birds again.
They say that just after a few weeks of quiet
the sky is no longer thick with fumes,
but blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
people are singing to each other across the empty squares
keeping their windows open so that those who are alone may
hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the west of Ireland
is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know is spreading flyers with her
number through the neighborhoods
so that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, and Temples, are
preparing to welcome and shelter the homeless, the sick, the
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting.
All over the world people are looking at their neighbors in a
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality.
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
So we pray and we remember yes there is fear,
but there does not need to be hate.
Yes there is isolation
but there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes, there is panic buying,
but there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness
but there does not have to be disease of the soul.
Yes there is even death,
but there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic.
The birds are singing again.
The sky is clearing.
Spring is coming
and we are always encompassed by love.
Open the windows of your soul,
and though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,