Let us go then, you and I.
Let us go.
Do I dare?
Do I dare?
Do I dare disturb the universe?
I woke up at 3 a.m. this morning thinking about these lines from T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” my favorite poem.
This poem is just one of Eliot’s wake-up calls to America, a call to find some meaning in life, to LIVE, to do more with your time on earth. In his words, don’t be “like a patient etherized upon a table”… “measuring out your life by teaspoons.” In other words, is your life so dull that you have a pat routine? The “teaspoons” represent the number of cups of tea, or coffee, you drink each day.
During this COVID crisis, we must reexamine our lives. Do we have a purpose? A constructive one? Are we contributing, or just taking? Can we make a difference? Is protest the answer?
So many questions. I may not have the answers, but I’m willing to engage in an open conversation to find some possible alternatives to what we are doing now. Because what we are doing now isn’t working.
John and I, as many of you know, are full-time RVers. We chose this life a few years ago because we didn’t want to be stuck in a routine. We wanted to live fully. And we wanted to help. We volunteer with SOWERS, a Christian group that helps organizations with maintenance of their properties, so they can help others as well. It’s a great relationship.
Lately, we’ve been wanting to do more. So we’ve started a backpack ministry. It all came about from a boondocking experience. We were lazing about down by a river, in a lovely federally-run campground that basically only offered vault toilets and scenery. With our rig, that was boondocking heaven.
But these campgrounds aren’t heaven for everyone. There was a young man, with a dog, living out of his car. Just 50 feet from us.
And we didn’t offer him fellowship, food, or additional clothing. After we left, we both realized what a selfish action that was on our part. We see people, daily, living out of their cars, not because they’re enjoying the freedom of this great land, but because they have no other choice.
So we came up with our backpack idea. We’ve been gathering items to place in individual backpacks—like warm socks, toothpaste and toothbrush, a warm scarf, hat, and mittens, non-perishable food items, razors, deodorant…the list goes on.
I’m learning to crochet, so I’m making the scarves and hats. John shops for the other items and organizes the contents. As we fill backpacks, we will have them handy to give out to someone who might need it. We don’t have enough backpacks for everyone, but we all have to start somewhere. Talk is cheap. It’s time for action.
Please join with me to disturb the universe—in a positive way. What can you do to help someone else?
Maybe it’s as simple as saying, “hello.” Before I left teaching, we had an opening training session about social isolation. So many people live around us, but how many of them do we reach out to? We were reminded that we can help others simply by saying hello. Maybe they need to talk. Maybe you need to as well.
Let’s start giving back more than we take.
Do you dare disturb the universe?