Admit it — you have begun holding your breath when you pass someone at work or on your essential grocery trip or along the park trail.  I know because I have caught myself doing it. But as humanity holds its breath,  nature is taking a deep one. 

For the first time since being put on the federal extinction list, hawksbill sea turtles are hatching along Brazillian coastlines without having to maneuver around beach enthusiastic humans (The Guardian, March 29, 2020). 

Another sign that Earth is benefitting from us humans slowing down through self quarantining is a decrease in the buzz we cause (Nationalgeographic.com, April 8, 2020). 

Think about it: every time you take a step or rumble across the road in your vehicle or board public transportation and go, you create a vibration. It teams up with everybody else’s movements to become a massive vibration that masks Earth’s natural vibes.  Seismologists who study Earth’s movements have to filter out human affects to monitor our planet so they can predict things like major weather events and earthquakes. But now, they have less to filter through because we are finding stillness.

And then there’s this: in a tv news report on Fox News a reporter said for the first time in his existence you could hear birds in downtown New York City. They’ve always been there, humans just drowned them out with their hustle and bustle.  

Crossett, we are hard on Earth and for what? What do we get out of being over busy, over worked, over traveled? We get tired. We get frustrated. We get disinterested.  And we lose the energy for things like taking care of our community. 

In the coming weeks we will return to a shade of normalcy.  Travel and work restrictions will be lifted. Public gatherings will be permitted again, and as this unfolds I challenge you, Crossett to be the example.

 Take lessons from our time of being quarantined, and let them be part of your new normal. Take note of how you have begun doing things, not just to get them done but because they are something worth doing.  Take note of the shift in how asking neighbors for help or offering your help to others became signs of kindness instead of weakness. 

Take note of how activities like baseball and softball went back to being games for kids untethered from adult ideas like college scholarships and pro careers. 

Take note of the better community we became when we slowed down enough to honor the things that matter. 

Crossett is a special place, made that way by the people who call it home.  I am honored to call you my neighbor and look forward to our new normal together. 

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