Out of the whirlwind

She is a teacher to two hundred pupils and mother of six children. She is busy with video-lessons and keeping the house running. “How do I start breathing again?” A question that finds a surprising answer where you least expect it.

For me, quarantine was initially overwhelming, because I am a mother to six children and a teacher to 210 pupils. Also, distance learning at my school started within four days. My initial feeling was, "I have to be on top of everything." I got sucked into a whirlwind. In every moment there was something for me to do to make sure that everyone was okay and no one was feeling wobbly, but I was out of breath. I asked myself, "How do I start breathing again?" I had to look back at the story that created and sustains me, and I had to give back by saying yes again to some gestures, to some moments. A little at a time. At first, I thought about re-starting School of Community, but since "it is still you" at the center of everything, I was only reading about two lines…I kept postponing doing School of Community with the high school students, until I gave in to the young people who were asking me. They helped me put the essential back at the center.

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I also asked them to help me say Vespers, because within Fr. Giussani's charisma, I have always perceived the recitation of the Hours as correspondent to me. Doing it alone, I would have been faithful to the gesture three times, but at the fourth one of my children would have called for me, to whom I would have to answer. Before, in my "managerial egocentricity", circumstances enveloped me, but the next step - more beautiful - was to discover that these are the place where He reveals Himself, within the routine of giving lessons, cooking, laying, hanging clothes out to dry, and setting the table. The call came to me from the young people: I threw the stone, but they gave me back a hundred times as much, they allowed me to return to reality trying to see the signs of His presence. It is really true that there are always people and moments of people to look at.

Annachiara, Milan, Italy