Two weeks ago, I was traversing India on may way back to the United States. ‘The’ virus was just gaining steam. It was still ‘out there’ not ‘in here.’ I stopped briefly in Udaipur, Rajasthan (north India) to experience Holi. One of the most popular annual festivals in India, Holi is the triumph of Good over Evil. The detailed description in the Vedas and Puranas depicts an entangled legend of good and evil in the kingdom of demon king Hiranuyakashyap. After the conquest over Evil, the play of the exuberant spirit is seen in the colorful tossing of colored powder onto one another. Children comb the streets looking for willing suspects, non locals are always good, as well as family and friends. In some villages, the play continues for days.
How interesting that this festival would occur just as the virus was globally exploding. Just as Evil was taking the stage. There is always a response to Evil. How forceful and in what timing? Much has been communicated in the last days as to what might have been missed in the early stages, false communications and omissions in information. It is always true that when we scramble to abate fear we miss truths and markers.
Now the question becomes how to handle what is here. What is our response? What is our willingness? What is our responsibility?
This is both a global and an individual challenge. One can not help but to feel the ache for communities across the world, in our own backyard and in our own homes. I see this as a pulsating circle emanating from the center of me. I am responsible to take care of myself so that I can take care of those around me and then those further away from me. I am responsible to be as informed as possible without lingering on fearful outcomes. To be discerning and sensitive. It is possible for me to reach out daily to several friends and family members and check in. It is absolutely possible for me to have patience with my family and friends who are ‘sheltering in place’ with me. It is helpful to remember and remind others that ‘we’ve got this.” We have the intelligence and wherewithal to support one another and find conscious solutions.
Each of us brings something to the table. Find your contribution and step into it. Nothing is insignificant. There are no small miracles. Every word and deed offered consciously contributes to the healing of the whole.
By the way, I did not know this young girl with me in the photograph. She came to me with pink powder, took my face in her overflowing hands and blessed me on Holi. I could not help but to sweep her up and hug her, for in that moment she was the world at play and the triumph of Good over Evil.