It came to me a few days ago when I was home at the kitchen sink, washing my hands. Looking out the window, I wondered to myself, “How long is the coronavirus pandemic going to disrupt our lives, and how will we survive it?”

As I was pondering (still soaping & rinsing my hands), a bouquet of newly-plucked daffodils caught my eye in the windowsill. In that moment, I felt a gentle nudge inside, and it seemed to say:

“Wash your hands, but don’t forget the daffodils”

Wisdom teachers have said similar things throughout the ages. Based on the teachings of the Buddha, Jack Kornfield once wrote, “After the ecstasy, the laundry.” I think Kornfield meant that human beings need to make room not only for awe and wonder, but also the mundane tasks of daily living.

In a teaching about the futility of worry, Jesus of Nazareth said, “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither spin nor weave; yet I tell you, even King Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.”

Perennial wisdom reminds us that fullness of life means paying attention to two things: whatever needs doing now, and also the potential for beauty, love, and wonder available each moment. The challenge is to find the “golden mean” between the two. If we only focus on the ideal good, we risk ignoring practical aspects of life that call for our attention. But if we never consider the daffodils — or the other glories of spring as they erupt around us, we risk falling into a pit of despair caused by the coronavirus / COVID19 outbreak.

“Wash your hands, but don’t forget the daffodils”

At Center for Spiritual Wisdom, our mission is to promote vibrant spirituality in ways that help participants. What can wary people do in this strange era of “social distancing” and voluntary house arrest? What might make your heart sing, even as you pay attention to vitally important news updates? Our e-news updates will offer some ideas. Meanwhile, take good care, and please consider the lilies of the field.