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My front window, creation by my daughter. It is one of 28 rainbows created in the span of one day on our street in the San Francisco Bay Area, after a neighbor with young children made a request by email in the morning, so they could go on a “rainbow hunt” in the afternoon

Hello dear readers all over the world. I wanted to share a bit more than my quick message of Saturday. All of a sudden most of us are in the same boat: sheltering in place or on full lockdown. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are now on day 7 of “shelter in place”, and starting week 2 of school closures.

While I’m sad, frustrated, and stressed out on a regular basis, I have also felt extremely comforted and very inspired this past week by expressions of beautiful community and wonderful creativity that have come out of this crisis already.

I’ve seen neighborhoods come together to identify who needs help and who can help; I’ve felt how uplifting it can be to share “silver linings” in a private Facebook group; I’ve experienced the power of a Zoom video conference meeting with a group of people who normally gather in person. Even if you can’t physically be in the same room with your classmates, members of your yoga studio, or extended family, it is actually extremely calming for the nervous system to see and hear people you know, and to be there for each other.

In the spirit of community and creativity, I’d love to share the video created by the Malaysia Bach Festival last week: they assembled videos of different people all over the world, singing and playing the chorale “Befiehl du deine Wege” from Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, and combined it into one video. You can find that video here. Keep your tissues handy.

In case you would like to sing along, you can find the PDF of this chorale here.

Wieneke Gorter, March 23, 2020.