Baby Boom 2020

What’cha doin’ out there? In nine months or more, will we see another baby boom on the rise? Perhaps, the timing is not there yet, as we’re still right in the middle of a pandemic. But, in light of the serious conditions this virus is inflicting around the world, I’d like to think that, in the midst of it all, what we’re doing is making love rather than making war.

I’m a baby boomer and came into this world shortly after WWII. Culture and conditions were much different then than the times we’re experiencing now but there are similarities. So much so, that what’s happening may be history repeating itself, only it’s showing up in a new form that we may not even recognize. What’s interesting in these turbulent times is how will we respond and what it will look like at the other end. Will we rise to the challenge?

Shortly before I was born, men and women were separated from their homes and country to fight a war that similarly impacted the whole world. It was horrible for those left waiting, wondering whether they’d ever see their loved one again. The emotional pain watching daily for the mailman in hopes of a letter or listening for a knock at the door for a telegram delivery may have seemed unbearable at times. When the war was over and they came back, there was such a joy to have them home the result was a population explosion. Hopefully, this time what will come out of it will be a love boom, where we hunger once again for getting together realizing that, while technology is good, it just can’t compete with human touch and connection.

Today, our war is close, on our doorsteps, creeping in our homes and communities all over the globe. We’re shut in hoping to stop the virus spread and end the pandemic. Locked down in our homes with spouses, family, significant others, unable to move about freely to connect and get together. There’re just so many movies you can watch and video games to play. The magic of love isn’t quite the same when you’re living with each other 24/7 week after week and romance may not feel the same while experiencing everyday reality with children crying and bills to pay.

Just before WWII, my parents were coming out of a ten-year depression where they saw their parents struggling to find jobs, money scarce and food lines for those without any resources. It must have seemed like it would never end.

Today, when the pandemic hit, our economy was booming, unemployment was at a record low and everything seemingly appeared to be what we wanted and working so hard for. With today’s technology, we’re able to connect with people thousands of miles afar in ways like never before with a simple click. We have instant responses where we’re glued to our phones night and day, hardly without them. Where, when I was born and in my parents’ time they were glued to their radios.

It’s scary times now just like it was then. The future is uncertain and what we thought we had control over no longer seems to exist. What were historic events for them in a depression, world war and a baby boom stretched out over time and what we’re caught up in today is making history too. Only, what we’re experiencing has arrived as a double whammy at one time – a virus causing isolation and isolation creating strain being unable to work and bring in the paycheck to eat and pay the bills.

I wonder how my grandparents and parents processed what they were going through in their time. Maybe, they were more prepared for hard times since they had just come out of the depression and a world war. No doubt they felt like giving up and losing hope but had no choice but to carry on much like we do today.

“Circumstances do not make the man, they reveal him”James Allen

One thing I have come to count on is that every day we’ll see the sun rise and in the evening set, seasons will come and go and birds will fly. There is something bigger in control of this world and it’s still revealing its breathtaking beauty in countless ways that doesn’t depend on me to notice.

In listening to this song, I often feel myself wanting to fly with the bluebirds over the rainbow.

Maybe that’s what we’re doing in all of this. We’re in the midst of discovering that brave and startling truth, as Maya Angelou says in an excerpt from her poem, “A Brave and Startling Truth”:

“We, this people, on a small and lonely planet. Traveling through casual space. Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns to a destination where all signs tell us it is possible and imperative that we discover a brave and startling truth.”

While you’re shut in and maybe looking for a couple of old movies you haven’t seen in awhile, here are a couple of my favorites we just recently watched. Be prepared to be inspired and feel a little sweet, simple love.

We’re all in this together. Let’s make it count with love, hope, giving and tender patience.

Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table

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Acknowledgements: "The call of destiny photo - Alberto more...

When We Come To It

I look around at what’s going on with this coronavirus and I wonder, “Will we come to it?” Is this the time when we will be brave enough to listen . . . to change course and accept a new normal and not go back to status quo?

We have such power to carve out mountain ranges, genetically modify our food and our bodies, rearrange rivers, go to the moon and outer space, blow up countries; and, yet, one small microscopic virus has silently and invisibly swept across our world causing countries to shut down, stock markets to plummet and people to die. Can we accept the challenge in what’s happening; that it can touch each of us and is no longer just happening to someone else?

I don’t think we’ve dealt with something like this before on a global scale; though, in the past, we’ve had plagues and pandemics far greater in number than this one. Have you ever thought about that? Why this one? Maybe, this is it.

Maybe this is the time when we come out of this on the other side and there will be countries, beliefs, families — people in general — coming together, settling differences and living in harmony. I felt it early on as a child in wanting peace in my home with my parents. Events happen, catastrophes occur and we always wait for the dust to settle so we can get back to our normal lives, instead of looking beyond and consider something different.

I suspect there’s been a lot of the same tug-and-pull down through the ages and, still wonder, if now we are able to come to it? Come to reconcile conflicts within ourselves, others, and face what’s there in our lives that have been trying to get our attention. Truly learn to be kind and live in peace with one another, particularly now, when we have the capability to seriously damage or destroy this world as we know it?

I believe this is a major crossroad in humanity where we have an opportunity to be quiet, listen and hear and, maybe, for the first time, get the message on what’s calling to show us how to do that: consider maybe we’re the problem and feel life and love we’ve been given. I think we’ll hear and answer the call this time. I’ve already seen so many stories with people reaching out to one another in innovative ways to connect on the internet and many others. It’s beginning.

Over the years, I’ve become more sensitive to life and death and can’t watch anything close to violent movies or shows or even play “bloody” video games with my grandsons. It stays with me. Even to the point where Hubby helps capture spiders and moths for me in the house and puts them outside. I know it sounds crazy, and maybe over the top, but I can’t help it. He has gotten used to my many quirks over the years and I feel if I smash a bug I can’t go back one minute before and put life in it and bring it back to the way it was crawling or flying. But, you know, we don’t have many bugs.

Or, I have a strong feeling when I smell fresh cut pine. It bothers me, even though we’ve chopped down our own Christmas trees for many years when the girls were young. I always sense a feeling they’re stuck planted right where they are with no ability to run. Can you imagine the feeling when the sound of a chain saw starts coming your way and you can’t move (aghh – one of those dreams waiting to happen). Then, there are the cattle trucks I pass on the highway and get emotional knowing their fate, even though I enjoy a good hamburger. It’s not perfect and I still have a lot in reconciling balance within my own life.

The world out there is much different than mine. Big entertainment is popular with killing and blowing things up. People seem to take pleasure in getting even and watching things die. We puff ourselves up and think we’re all so powerful in what we can destroy and conquer but can we put life in one flower or create the song of a bird. Maybe that’s what’s going on in this coronavirus is that it will show us what’s precious. After this, I don’t think we’ll be able to go back to the way it was. Too much will have changed and what was before will no longer serve us. Nature, sun and the moon, earth and many universes beyond will move on. Question is: Will we give up our power plays and petty differences to move on and be there with them?

I came across this poem the other day that spoke to the many things I’ve described above. It seemed to resonate in ways I’ve long felt but never until now seen words put to them so beautifully. It’s really powerful if you listen to Maya Angelou’s voice from the video while following along with her words in this poem. Maya Angelou reading her poem “A Brave and Startling Truth”.


By Maya Angelou

We, this people, on a small and lonely planet

Traveling through casual space

Past aloof stars, across the way of indifferent suns

To a destination where all signs tell us

It is possible and imperative that we discover

A brave and startling truth

And when we come to it

To the day of peacemaking

When we release our fingers

From fists of hostility

And allow the pure air to cool our palms

When we come to it

When the curtain falls on the minstrel show of hate

And faces sooted with scorn are scrubbed clean

When battlefields and coliseum

No longer rake our unique and particular sons and daughters

Up with the bruised and bloody grass

To lie in identical plots in foreign lands

When the rapacious storming of the churches

The screaming racket in the temples have ceased

When the pennants are waving gaily

When the banners of the world tremble

Stoutly in the good, clean breeze

When we come to it

When we let the rifles fall from our shoulders

And children dress their dolls in flags of truce

When land mines of death have been removed

And the aged may walk into evenings of peace

When the religious ritual is not perfumed

By the incense of burning flesh

And childhood dreams are not kicked awake

By nightmares of abuse

When we come to it

Then we will confess that not the Pyramids

With their stones set in mysterious perfection

Not the Garden of Babylon

Hanging as eternal beauty

In our collective memory

Not the Grand Canyon

Kindled into delicious color

By Western sunsets

Nor the Danube, flowing its blue soul into Europe

Not the sacred peak of Mount Fuji

Stretching to the Rising Sun

Neither Father Amazon nor Mother Mississippi who, without favor,

Nurture all creatures in the depths and on the shores

These are not the only wonders of the world

When we come to it

We, this people, on this minuscule and kithless globe

Who reach daily for the bomb, the blade, the dagger

Yet who petition in the dark for tokens of peace

We, this people on this mote of matter

In whose mouths abide cankerous words

Which challenge our existence

Yet out of those same mouths

Can come songs of such exquisite sweetness

That the heart falters in its labor

And the body is quieted into awe

We, this people, on this small and drifting planet

Whose hands can strike with such abandon

That in a twinkling, life is sapped from the living

Yet those same hands can touch with such healing, irresistible tenderness

That the haughty neck is happy to bow

And the proud back is glad to bend

Out of such chaos, of such contradiction

We learn that we are neither devils nor divines

When we come to it

We, this people, on this wayward, floating body

Created on this earth, of this earth

Have the power to fashion for this earth

A climate where every man and every woman

Can live freely without sanctimonious piety and

without crippling fear

When we come to it

We must confess that we are the possible

We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world

That is when, and only when We come to it.

Like Maya Angelou presents in her poem, I believe we’ll come to it. We’ll find a way. It may not be my way or your way . . . maybe, a third way, like William Ury talks about, the perfect blend of both ways plus a little more.

It will happen, if we allow it and do our part and when it does maybe we will see something miraculous. Another true wonder of the world – the human realizing they’re true potential.

Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table