We humans are quite a mess these days.
Ranging from blind rage to unsettled to terrified.
Maybe we’re always like this, but right now
we seem particularly public in our display.

What are we to do with this onslaught of emotions?
I ask myself that a lot these days.
How am I to hold this turmoil
in my body, my nervous system, my soul?

The best I can figure is to feel it.
To let it in past our defenses,
at least a little, as we are able.
Because we are holding these feelings, like it or not.

And to balance that with knowing—deep inside—
that all is well.
That the inner and the outer world are not the same.
There is a place in all of us
that circumstance cannot touch.

I imagine that is how the Anne Franks
and the Nelson Mandelas of the world
withstood and emerged as they did.
Steadying themselves from deep within.

Perhaps it’s similar to a northern winter:
the terrain is covered in ice and snow.
Still.  Cold.  Quiet.  Unmoving.

It’s easy to forget that underneath the ice
the river flows freely.
Life continues.
Frog and turtle sleep peacefully in the sediment.
Beaver, otter, and weasel roam in the in-between
popping up, diving under, eating, sleeping.
Fish still live their fish lives.
Aquatic plants adapt and thicken.

So dig deep, dear ones.
Let yourself feel, in small measures,
the truth of our world.
Then hold softly your tender heart.
Let it drink its fill
from the flowing stream beneath the ice.