Since the whole quarantine process has been in effect, I have been home with the whole family. Our children have been home-schooling and we have had a lot of time to do things we normally don't get to do. We often cook most of our meals at home normally but now we can take more time, experimenting new recipes. We have made meat dumplings, gnocchi, cakes, smoothies, lemon meringue pie and raspberry tiramisu. It has actually been pleasant to have time. There is a popular American saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." In my case, lemon meringue pie. I may not agree or like the situation but it doesn't help if I grumble about it, so I am making the best of it. I am using this time to "touch the heart" of my family.
Another effect of the quarantine/ isolation is that we have been called to practice "social distancing," avoiding all physical contact with people, including shaking hands, hugging and definitely not kissing. We have been dictated to stay away from our elderly family and friends, as well as keep a 2-metre distance from everyone in public.
Since I began studying Chinese Medicine, I have become aware what different body parts represent and how they affect our health. For instance, the shaking of hands, which is very prevalent in many places in the world is the connection of 2 points of the palm of the hands which are on the Heart and Pericardium Meridians, both of Fire element. So, when I shake your hand, I connect my heart with yours. Similarly, when I hug someone, I meet my heart with yours. In Malaysia, there is a tradition, especially among the ethnic Malays where they shake hands with both hands and place both their hands right after onto their chest, emphasizing the Heart connection. This I find beautiful. The lips are a little different from the Chinese Medicine and meridian view, they manifest the Spleen and Stomach, both of the Earth element. The cheeks also manifest the Stomach meridian. Of course, the Spleen and Stomach are organs of digestion but in Chinese Medicine, they produce Qi and Blood, the essentials for life. These are greetings with the touch of the skin and there are many more greetings that do not require touch. For instance, in India and in many places in Asia, they place their 2 palms together in front of the heart to greet each and/or they bow their heads to each other, both are as signs of respect and to honor. I am finding these to be very valuable at the current time.
So much of how we communicate with each other is the "touch of the heart." Real connection to each other is from the heart. Even if we aren't allowed to touch or be close to one another, we can still touch each other's heart in simple things like greeting and smiling at each other from afar. This current situation is challenging but it also gives us a chance to evaluate what really is important in our lives.
Image Dim Sum by Alice Cheung from Pixabay