Reflective poems in midst of uncertain times

What is happening to the world?! How has it come to this?!

When I first heard about Coronavirus crisis it seemed like a faraway issue until it affected our own community. Within a matter of days, we were notified that everything, besides essential work, will be shut down till April 7th. All schools, gyms, shops, places of worship will be closed: possibility of that date being postponed too. We are practicing social distance, 6 feet apart, and issued to shelter-in-place (stay home as much as you can).

Hopefully, this extreme strategy will slow the spread of this contagious virus and give hospitals time to process and recover from an influx of patients. But lots of people and businesses are hurting with each passing day.

For our family, this kind of bubble-like existence is familiar and we’re coping with it okay. It’s just weird that everyone else is doing the same thing. If you know our clan, we are paranoid of coughs and germs. Ellis’ underlying heart condition puts her in the high-risk category and we know how sick she can get. This means our immediate family cannot catch something or else she will catch it too. So stressful: these things are out of my control as much as I try to control the environment. So when we hear a cough, we slowly distance ourselves and start running for the hills.

I’ve heard many people say that ‘it will get worse before it gets better.’ I hope that we will soon leave the worst place and transition into the upswing of this situation. The aftermath will be difficult as we grapple with the effects the shut down will have on people’s finances, plans, and life situation.

My sage friend from NYC sent me these two poems and their words and imagery speak vividly about the reality we are currently in. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

โ€œAnd the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.ย 

“And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.ย 

“And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”ย ~Kitty O’Meara


My prayer is that we will become a healthier, more resilient, and compassionate people as a result of this. God, help us weather this sudden storm!

In this time of forced hibernation, if you haven’t done so yet, let’s read God’s words, pray for wisdom, discover his promises, and find ultimate security in God’s presence.

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV New International Version
Image from

Snails for pals, temporarily

It’s been cold and rainy in San Jose for the past week. During a brief dry phase, our family went searching for snails or any interesting critters that crawl out on damp days.

I realized that I’ve been looking in the wrong spots for snails this whole time. I looked down when I had to look around me. I presumed they were swimming in muddy puddles or crawling on the sidewalk. Guess I’ve been watching too much kid-animation stuff. What the heck was I thinking?! Of course these snails’ instinctual reaction would be to stay inconspicuous.

Chris found little communities of snails on tree trunks. Perfect place for camouflage. Kids and I got wide at this discovery while he looked skeptical of the whole thing. I returned the look hoping he’d read my mind: We’ve got a great science study here. You can’t say ‘no’ to that!

Chilling out on tree trunk

He reluctantly helped but couldn’t help himself from airing his skeptical comment, “How long will these guys last.”

Update: These two snails have been comfortably adjusting to their new habitat with fresh veggies and fruits each night. We are on day 3. On day 5, we’ll release them in the mulch.

Coming home with us

And tonight, we got a little surprise from our catfish. The fun part was seeing a sudden appearance of eggs after she made quick wiggling movements on the side of the aquarium. Kids went wild distracting the bigger fish from dining on fresh eggs: we lost a few but most have been moved to a small bowl.

Here we go again with the life cycle lesson. This happened in early January but the eggs never hatched. That weekend we visited a friend’s house where they had newborn guppies. OMG, we couldn’t believe how small and cute little fish are. (I can’t find pictures of those baby guppies on my phone.)

I’m glad we saved the “first bites” pellets for newborn fish. Hoping this time will be a more productive experience.

January surprise: Close-up view of eggs. These eggs, ultimately, did not hatch.
New fish eggs
In homemade habitat