“Keep Calm.” I see these inspired memes everywhere as people embrace its meaning.
Lately, I have been thinking about what permeates the air. Before this unprecedented season brought with it, high anxiety, and even more distance between our conversations, the mood of our air had already been a hot topic. In these times, I remind myself to draw in peace; even amidst the smolder of forest fires, felled trees, armed conflict, and a hue of matters that are all gravely crucial. The air we draw in is as essential as our existence.
The breath of life is blown into our dusty bodies every day. It is a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from an unseen God who decides our supply. It is an unearned gift. Sadly, this same air we breathe has not only become disregarded and devalued, but it has become a choking hazard.
The air we breathe into our lungs is free. It is not provided to us based upon a zip code, shoe size, status, IQ or even our DNA. It is based upon grace.
To protect ourselves we now wear a diverse offering of masks and we acknowledge previously familiar faces by their eyes, the shape of their bodies, or the sound of their voices. And even then, it is not always easy to distinguish them from their cues, until they call us by our given name. For me, the mask creates a fog that veils my eyes, heats up my air and makes my nose run. None of this is normal.
Maybe you are like me and agree that today things look and feel quite different.
I read a lot and sometimes listen to the poem-a-day videos, I recently heard a poem by Kelly Davio, “To My Seatmate, on a Cross-Country Flight.” There were two lines that stood out, “See how the mask gaps at the side? It is a reminder that we breathe the same air, you and I.” This is an interesting perspective. The distance between the fabric of a mask and our skin is so small.
Yes, we all breathe in fresh oxygen, and no matter what kind of masks we wear, we all have gaps somewhere on the side of our masks. I honestly had to reflect on the question. What kind of air do I draw into my gaps, and what kind of air do I expel?
Hmm. This is something to think about.