• Mahsa Keikha

In this Time of Transformation an Opportunity for Love

Yesterday was the equinox, the first official day of spring. Here in Metro Vancouver, the cloudless sky was a brilliant azure blue, the birds were singing, and the cherry and magnolia trees had seemingly, as if by cue, bloomed overnight. It really is quite beautiful and amazing, this planet and its capacity for life – how every spring the flowers push up from the darkness of the ground to renew the process of growth and life and bless us with their beauty.

The spring equinox is also Nowruz, the Persian New Year, which is a holiday of cleansing and renewal, of new life and possibilities. I celebrated with family—my daughter, my brother, sister-in-law and my nephew—at home. When the exact time of the equinox arrived, I focused all my energy, sending unconditional love to everyone on this world, in this shared time-space reality.

The equinox this year arrives at a pivotal moment—a time when love is especially needed. As is happening in many places around the world, the region I live in is under a kind of lockdown, both voluntary and enforced, in response to COVID-19. My daughter is home not only for Nowruz, but also because public schools have shut here indefinitely. As have all other public facilities and many retail shops. People are practicing social distancing. They’re staying home and avoiding contact with others. There is much uncertainty. Many are dealing with great anxiety as their deepest fears seem to be manifesting before their own eyes. They fear losing loved ones. They’re afraid of losing their job or livelihood, of losing their home and material possessions. And they fear for their own health.

These are unsettling times. While we must surrender to the uncertainty, there is a possibility that in our isolation we forget our underlying connection. That we collapse into fear and close off our energy.

I believe it is a time of transformation.

I believe we have an opportunity to reimagine and recreate our reality. To realize our connections with each other, to recognize the interconnectedness of everything. To expand and grow in the most beautiful, life-affirming ways. To take this experience and transform it to love—for ourselves, for each other, and for this amazing planet we humans call home.

You may find yourself wishing things would go back to ‘normal.’ But let me ask: Was the ‘normal’ we humans were living one of kindness, respect, trust and unconditional love for all?

For Nowruz, one of the rituals celebrants partake in is the deep cleaning of the home. We clear the old to make way for the new. Another is the creation of a haft-seen—the arrangement of seven symbolic items whose names start with the Persian letter س (pronounced “seen.”) Haft means seven. I find the English translation of this especially meaningful right now. We may not be able to see the future, but we can half-see it, catch glimpses of what might be.

Sometimes it takes a life-altering event to shake up our perception. Let us take this opportunity, this time of pausing, to create a new normal, to shape a new reality. Let’s make the foundation for it one of kindness and love.

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