We were in the middle of a lockdown where gyms, malls, and public places were not open to the public. The WHO had declared Covid-19 a pandemic, although the numbers in India did not seem alarming at the time.
The flights were few and far between, just not closed yet. Climate change activists were rejoicing for green skies in this positivity and the feeling of staying at home was not so haunting as it is today in a complete lockdown with no friends to meet.
On March 25, 2020, Indian Prime Minister declared a complete 21-day lockdown of the country. Those who were travelling were left stranded, flights cancelled, trains cancelled, and all modes of transportation shut.
And just around then, I came across this poem online and I went silent for awhile because the forward said it was from Kathleen O’Meara, an 1869 writer.
The poem – ‘And People Stayed Home‘
And people stayed home
and read books and listened
and rested and exercised
and made art and played
and learned new ways of being
and listened deeper
someone met their shadow
and people began to think differently
and people healed
and in the absence of people who lived in ignorant ways,
dangerous, meaningless and heartless,
even the earth began to heal
and when the danger ended
and people found each other
grieved for the dead people
and they made new choices
and dreamed of new visions
and created new ways of life
and healed the earth completely
just as they were healed themselves.
However, it is written by Kitty O’Meara in this century, during the outbreak of the 2020 pandemic. That sure was eery, no doubt, so well written but wrongly credited.
I heaved a little sigh of relief that it wasn’t predicted centuries ago, but the words still hold true.
I hope this is the outcome of the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak and people heal their souls.
Prayers for the migrant workers to get home safely and no more government atrocities. Prayers for the front-liners braving the odds to protect the rest of us. Prayers for those infected to heal quickly. Prayers for Mother Earth to be her blossoming self.
You can read about the talented 21st-century American writer and her interview with Oprah here. Oprah Magazine dubbed O’Meara, a former teacher in Madison, Wisconsin, the “poet laureate of the pandemic.”