‘Gan scaoll’ means ‘without panic’. Not a lot of that in modernity. The modern world built upon apprehension, fomo, hyper-vigilance and status anxiety. You can’t spell pandemic without p a n i c … but the way to survive it is with calm rationality and appropriate behaviour. Survival is not always running faster than the others also being chased by the tiger or stockpiling the hand sanitiser. Survival is the skills set to weather the storm and the perspective to judge the situation.
It all reminds me of the old Irish proverb ‘Olc síon an sioc, is fearr sioc ná sneachta agus is fearr sneachta ná síorbháisteach – Frost is bad weather, but frost is better than snow, and snow is better than eternal rain’.
Knowing when we have it good even when it appears to be going bad is one of the most difficult perceptions. Awareness can come into play to let us see the wood for the trees – sometimes it is only with hindsight – this seanfhocail reminds us that it could always be worse – not in a despairing or negatively morbid way but to spare us hindsight and backward contemplation.
In the now – frost or rain is frost or rain, it all must be encountered and lived through, frost or rain makes no difference to being mindful, to continuing in life. Young or old makes no difference, male or female makes no difference, sexuality, financial status, education, now is now. You are more than definition, you are the experiences of a spiritual being and more still. Frost or snow on the path, rain or sun on your back, it is all life.
So current dread or doubt, is frost or rain. It will pass. Ok, life is interrupted for a time, the road is harder to travel (or you are advised not to at all) but resilience is recognising the transient nature of all scenarios. There is no eternal rain.