When Less is More – Rev. Heather McCarrel

Photo by Etienne Girardet used with permission/Unsplash

Here we are again, another month-long lockdown in Ontario.  This time the lockdown looks different than the first two.  This time we have the vaccine rolling out across the province and even as the daily case count climbs, so does the daily count of vaccinations.

So, even amidst the fears of the variants we can start to imagine a day when the new normal will arrive.  In the meantime, we must find ways to cope.

One way to cope is by reminding ourselves not to fuss over things of which we have no control.  We cannot control when a lockdown is determined or for how long.  We can control our own response to this shut-down and the ever-present risk of contracting COVID-19 or one of it’s variants.

It seems like a long journey in having to live with less.  We have less opportunities to go out and enjoy an evening on the town, less dining in restaurants, less movies in the theaters and less time with our loved ones.

However, there is also a lot more happening now as well. We have gained more appreciation for other things in life such as more dinners at home, more down time to watch the sunset and to listen to birdsong, and more awareness of the beauty and peace that can be found in our own backyards.  We have a lot more time to garden, clean out the closets and arrange our homes as we may have always wanted. More opportunity to bake, paint, sew or build that bookshelf.

As the Daily Stoic Ryan Holiday writes, “When we do less, we get a double benefit. We cut out what is inessential, and we do what is essential much, much better. There are not a lot of redeeming qualities to a pandemic, but we should at least take this lesson from it. We are being taught what less looks like. We are being taught that less can actually be more.”

May we all enjoy the more that has been brought into our lives during these “safe at home” days.

Rev. Heather McCarrel,
Port Elgin United Church.