As we entered the year, few were aware of the cloud over China The size of a mans fist That would grow to encompass the planet Dripping disease, spreading fear and anxiety Locking down the frenetic world Till all was still We hunkered in homes Disconnected with all that went before Isolated from each other Counting the death toll. The pundits quick to criticise All that was done But having no answers of their own. Much that had meaning was shed as shops shut, workplaces closed We stopped our rounds of visits. It was time to stop. *** How swiftly life reduced To four walls. And I was challenged By my inner sparseness Stripped of activity Faced only with news Of disease and death, It was time to clean the clogged fountain And let the spring rise up anew. This small cave grew and expanded Simple beauty pervades my heart Inspired by creation Through which I stroll The light of God my source In this darkness. These burdens too heavy I pass them to my King Who bears all things And gives me life How sweet His name. And now I furnish His house My heart With good things With beauty Forests of peace Lakes of kindness Mountains of faithfulness Waterfalls of joy Good fruits Pathways of self control The scent of patience on the calm sea I walk across the gardens of gentleness And relish the landscape of love How can my life be called constrained When this richness is in You Lord Within me. Your song drowns out the clamouring circumstances Glory outweighs suffering This outward world so quickly shrank But the inner world expands For all time Until one day, we will see you clearly Walking over the waves towards us To greet us in a holy embrace.