On the eve of the Jewish holiday Yom HaShoah--Holocaust Remembrance Day--we commemorate the millions of people murdered by the actions of Nazis and their collaborators. Many of us are familiar with stories about families hiding out during that time. Some survived. Many perished.
As we find ourselves in a time of hunkering down, avoiding gatherings, isolating in close quarters with a limited number of people, I have been thinking about the far more extreme experience of those hiding from Nazis during World War II. This is with full awareness that the comparisons here are not to be overstated--on the one hand a deadly political force intent on the annihilation of a people; on the other hand a virus, its impact influenced by political and socioeconomic factors, but the virus itself devoid of willful intent to harm.
I delve into thoughts about how people in hiding during that horrific time endured the hardships of sequestering for months on end in basements, in attics, hidden away behind concealed doors, with no ability to go outside, eating only what meager food was provided and being thankful for that. What a luxury it is, even amid this challenging time of COVID-19 pandemic, that we can walk freely within our homes, can select our food and cook, that we can reach out to friends and family by phone, Zoom, texting, and email, and , if we're lucky, can maintain our schooling and employment.
And, I am reminded of the words of Anne Frank and her recognition of the power of nature to bring solace:
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”
How fortunate we are that we can still go outside, can admire the changes in nature that come with the arrival of spring and can look upon nature as a constant.
About this Blog
Hi! I'm Nancy Kopans, founder of Urban Edge Forest Therapy. Join me on an adventure to discover creative ways to connect with nature in your daily life, ways that are inspired by urban surroundings that can reveal unexpected beauty, with the potential to ignite a sense of wonder.