You can only come to the morning through the shadows – J.R.R. Tolkien.
It’s hard to know what the right words are for what we, as a human race, are experiencing right now. COVID-19 is exploding, we are, by and large, socially isolating, and the future, always both sort of fuzzy and somewhat predictable, all of a sudden isn’t predictable at all.
Even though we have plenty of food, warmth, light, running water and employment, and most of all each other, which are the greatest gifts imaginable, fear creeps in. Like for the rest of us, seeing or hugging my family and friends could result in a death sentence for one or more of us. We have no guarantee of supply chains remaining intact. No one yet knows when or if immunity testing, vaccines or treatments and diagnosis is going to improve. There’s a lot to worry about right now. I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t worry a lot for us and others. As I write this, we are about at 300,000 diagnoses, and almost 13,000 deaths from C19. I know we are just at the beginning, with the numbers continuing to escalate.
That said, I’ve tried to hang onto the things I can control and celebrate whatever gifts are out there. Our world has contracted to 5 people in the course of the last week and a half. Eli, I, the kids and their Dad, with the adults working their tails off to make sure that we partner, make transitions between houses simple, and communicate openly and honestly with the kids as much as we can.
And yet, I’d also be lying if I said I wasn’t seeing the gifts in the situation. We’re all home a lot more. I’m getting more sleep, no longer waking up at 3 am to catch planes (sometimes waking up at 3 am to worry though). Yesterday, the 5 of us took a long walk through a local state park, and then Eli and I worked in the yard for a while – it’s spring cleanup season, and that waits for no one. We have family time, time to cook at home. We have an abundance of love and affection for one another. We are able to keep friends and family supplied with fresh eggs. We are able to be generous to those around us. We are adding love and kindness to the world, a world that desperately needs it.
And spring is coming, something that I have endless gratitude for. My seedlings are coming up, and more are getting planted every week. The yard is starting to green, and our Forsythia is beginning to show it’s colors. Here and there, crocuses and daffodils are peeking out. Yesterday, the sky was impossibly blue. We ran and laughed and watched the chickens peck in the yard. Today, it’s about setting up my permanent work space, as having all of us home all day has meant some restructuring of spaces.
Soon I’ll be posting about things we are doing, and that you, too can do to pass the time, and keep occupied. Recipes, crafts, and projects. My eternally creative husband created a schedule for families cooped up at home. For today though, I am focused almost entirely on the blessings around me. Sunshine, family, flowers.
This too shall pass. None of us will ever be the same, and I think the world around us will change significantly as well. But we will emerge from the shadows of COVID-19 into a new morning. Almost certainly dented and dinged, and for many of us, grieving. But we humans have a great capacity to keep on keeping on, and that’s the thing we must hold to now. “If you are going through hell, keep going”, said Winston Churchill.
So keep going. And may this shadow pass quickly for all of you.