(This poem originally appeared in the Spring 2020 Issue of the TAU-USA #100)

By Brother Richard Hendrick, OFM Cap.

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
 Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.

They say that in Wuhan
after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
 The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi

People are singing to each other
 across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
 so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the west of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the

Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number through the neighborhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbors in a new way

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.

To what really matters.

To Love

So we pray and we remember that
 Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.

Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul.

Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic.

The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul
 And though you may not be able
 to touch across the empty square,


Brother Richard Hendrick is a Capuchin Friar and guardian of the Ards Friary and Retreat Center in Donegal, Ireland and teaches Christian meditation and mindfulness on social media. He has also been active in youth ministry. Through his poetry, he shares his message through social media, calling for solidarity and empathy. Shortly after posting “Lockdown” on Facebook it went viral around the world touching people’s hearts and giving by giving them hope.