I’ve been through some rough times in my lifetime. I’ve faced poverty, asset re-possessions, job loss, possible foreclosures, divorce, marital strife, bankruptcies and near-death experiences. I’ve been through the Viet Nam war, 9/11, numerous stock market crashes and several recessions. During none of those times I have listed have I ever reached for a drug, a drink or contemplated suicide. Not so with Covid-19. It started with the death of my beloved brother at the very onset of the coronavirus back in March 2020. His death was quick and horrible. And a wake up call to the seriousness my family and I were now facing.

All I want is for the pain to end. But it doesn’t. My brother’s wife, since his death, has locked herself up in her Florida condo and still, to this day has not come out. Between being terrified of the coronavirus to feeling extreme fear and trepidation, each and everyone of my immediate family is in some state of depression, stress or anxiety. Most everyone is either on zanax, escitalopram or some sort of medication. I will admit that I’ve been smoking pot in the beginning until my supply ran out. I could ascertain more weed but as I have originally stated, I’ve never done drugs or alcohol my whole entire lifetime in times of calamity. Why should I start now?

Instead, I have miraculously found solace in my current living conditions. I’m settled into a spacious 3.5 acre property filled with nature and animals and bugs and flowers that constantly amaze and calm me. I’ve realized that depression occurs when you delve into your past. Anxiety and stress rear their ugly heads when you think about tomorrow or your future. If I can live and remain in the present time, the here and now, I find an amazing feeling of tranquility comes over me and I can cope with my current situation.

I’ve been given the opportunity, the blessing, to stop and look at the current world around me. My environment is filled with rabbits and frogs, deer and squirrels, spiders and bees, grass and non-ending trees, birds of song and birds of prey, a stream and a pond. Everybody here seems to be happy and just getting along splendidly. So, why can’t I?

It’s no mistake that I am currently here on this estate. It’s as if ‘being’ or ‘spirit’ knew what future lied ahead for me and made all the provisions possible. All I had to do was start living in the present, forget my past and not think about the future and all would be well. And it is. I have always said it was the ‘powers that be’ that made this transition possible.

For the first time I no longer think about ‘me’. I think about the earth. I think about my garden instead. I think about the safety of the deer and the squirrels who live here with me. We co-exist. We coincide. The chipmunks and the frogs. The bees and the birds. They concentrate on the present. They live in the now. They don’t worry themselves about their past or their futures. They have learned to take care of today because today has been provided for them. Today is guaranteed.

I’ve been freed of all material possessions. There’s no one any more who can judge me. And if there is, I won’t know or hear about it. Nor will I care. I’m in to a whole new world of enlightenment. I found an internal peace no drug or alcoholic beverage could provide me with. I won’t say that my pain is completely gone. I do feel the loss every once in a while of our family patriarch (my brother) and I do find myself crying at times over the state of our world today, but there is nothing that I can do about it. Except accept my bubble and be thankful for its presence. And to delight in the world that is available to me and encircles my very being.

If you concentrate on the now, if your realize that there really are forces around you that can help you get through your day, those feelings of anxiety, depression and loss will evaporate. You have to condition your mind to think in the now. To think in the present. Concentrate, as the animals, birds and insects do, to get through the day. If that means you have to rely on the kindness of a neighbor or a stranger, the deep pockets of the government, your local church or place of worship, then so be it. Do it. They’re all here for a reason. And if every once in a while or if it is every day, take whatever prescribed medication is necessary. I’d lay off the drugs and alcohol. They only lead to a decline in health and that’s not going to do you or anyone near you any good. Live in the now. Understand its power.

Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.” Wayne Dryer