• Maggie Wheeler

That Which Remains

The title for this blog post has many echoes. It is certainly not original to me. Currently, it is the title of a song and the name of a band. In recent history, it echoes the title of a Star Trek: The Original Series episode called “That Which Survives.” In the ancient past, it is found in The Book of Revelations 3:2 as part of “Wake up and strengthen what remains…”

The idea has been around for a while. Today, it is on our dashboard again.

This week, Ontario begins the cautious first steps back to opening up post-Covid (Is there such a thing?). This will take time—not just because the virus is still with us but also because we don’t know what the future will really look like. It is up to us to build it and it will be a big job, as always.

But right now, we all have a moment. A gift. A chance to really see that which remains as part of deciding what will survive.

I’ve been thinking about snow globes a lot in these last two weeks of seclusion. I’m not only addicted to metaphors in words but also in images. The snow globe to me is a perfect visual of what our lives have been like over the past few months as we screeched to a living halt. We started with a whirlwind of “snow” in our lives, obscuring our vision of the bases we live on. But as the shutdown continued, all the whirling pieces began to settle down and the true landscape of our lives emerged.

Some parts have not been welcome. Everybody has something they prefer to keep at bay, choosing distance as opposed to resolution. Some have been surprising, both positively and negatively. Many have just been like coming home.

Because that is where we went. And where we now find ourselves.

The gift is the moment right now, a breath and a pause for the opportunity of really seeing that which remains in our lives.

The urge will be to start retrieving the markers of our former lives. Habits, rituals, pursuits, people, places. And that will be, understandably, part of our rebuilds.

But if we are to turn this challenge into true opportunity, we need to embrace this moment of clarity. Face it, use it, take inspiration from it. Don’t let it slip away.

The future we will create could be much more rewarding than the future we lost.

It takes courage, vision, commitment, and a solid foundation—built on that which remains.

Talk next week,


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