When my son turned two, one of my dearest friends gave him a book titled “The Knowing Book.” It’s a children’s book about a rabbit who adventures out into the world and, while he may encounter all sorts of challenges and uncertainties, there are still some things that he will always know. The rabbit is told that the sky is above him, and will always be above him.
That simple line is one of my mantras during this crisis. Each day is different and by the time you read this, things will have likely changed. It is very uncertain and often terrifying. Each day brings us news of more virus spread and lives lost and, also, each day brings us news that there are glimmers with hope.
Certainty and stability are upended during this pandemic. Yet braided between are the things that we still know to be true, the things that still happen despite being home, not working, and trying to teach our children and provide them with a sense of normalcy. The sky is still above us.
In the story, the young rabbit is encouraged, on his solo journey, to be open to the unknown. To sit outside and let his imagination guide him. As I read this book to my son, and more so to myself, trying to disguise the lump in my throat, I’m reminded that the unknown is here, and in life, is always present. Yet I can still sit outside and take stock of the good that is present in my own life and in the world.
The book is a primer on what it means to be a person navigating the world, facing dark days and delicious ones. It offers a brief lesson on how to work through those internal challenges of wanting to know yourself and the discovery of who you are. It encourages you to seize precious moments and interact with the seemingly small things in life: a flower, a rock, the sunrise, the change of the seasons. Books can be so timely and, as I’ve long known, enduring and wise. The message of “The Knowing Book” can be applied to our current situation as it unfolds daily. The sky is above us, always will be.
For us Montanans, we know that it is a very big sky above us.
As we continue to live through the coronavirus and each of us do our part to flatten the curve and help those on the front lines in the medical world by staying home, what we know to be true often feels like it’s been ripped away. Maybe you too would like to borrow the mantra that I’ve nabbed from this book: The sky has always been above you, is above you now, and will always be above you.
Be well. We are a beautiful community and we will get through this.
It takes courage and fortitude. We have it.
Maggie Doherty is the owner of Kalispell Brewing Company on Main Street.