Pandemic blessings. That sounds like an oxymoron.
It would behoove us, however, to find blessings in any challenge.
I write this in the middle of a crisis that we are all sharing. That alone is astonishing. Words are often inadequate or unintentionally insensitive. I write this, therefore, very carefully and with a desired gentleness and thoughtfulness.
With more time to reflect, I have gathered and even hoarded a few blessings from this change in the tide of our lives.
We are hunkered down and practicing social distancing, hand washing, and using masks. That being said, my son who lives 10 miles away, has joined us for Sunday evening dinners.
I don’t give him my normal “happy to see you” hug. He enters the house and immediately washes his hands. We sit far apart and enjoy a delightful meal together. With spring upon us, we like to sit out on the patio. Fresh air is always good.
Our time together seems more relaxed; our discussions are varied and open; our sharing is special in an odd way. Mostly, it is just so good to see him and have this time together at a moment in time that no one prepared for. It is a new routine after all routines were abruptly disrupted. A blessing for me to treasure.
My second blessing is another new routine. Every Saturday we do a family zoom get together. Joining the group are family members in North Carolina, New York, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Texas, and California. I always knew we were physically spread out. That has become even more apparent when we smile from our Brady Bunch boxes on the computer screen.
Even our family pets, who almost equal in number, join us on occasion. Barking dogs make themselves known. My daughter’s cat, Daisy, likes to social distance anyway. We have gotten a few glimpses of her between naps. Quite honestly, she wishes her parents would return to the workplace!
The age range is 2 to 89. We have watched my two and five year old nephew’s bath-time, a piano recital, shared vistas from select porches and backyards, had show and tell, shared family photos, shared great jokes, and what everyone is cooking for dinner. The best is all the laughter. We even come up with themes or topics for subsequent calls. I will say there is some confusion and lots of interrupting, but it is all so pleasantly entertaining. It is the perfect antidote.
I have often thought technology would get the best of us. I humbly retract that thought.
My third blessing is not so unusual. My daily walks in the woods have a new meaning. They have become an escape. Meandering through the trees has a therapeutic grounding effect to counteract my upside down world. Scheduling isn’t an issue right now and this allows for planning around the weather and my mood. The uninvited guest chose spring to appear in my corner of the universe. The spring flowers sing and the new green of the trees is brighter and more welcome than ever.
I want the pandemic to be gone tomorrow. I want the world to right itself. What will our new norm be? What will it feel like to sit in a restaurant again? Will we always be counting to 20 when washing our hands? Will I throw away my masks? Will we welcome back a little traffic here and there? Can I go on my trip that was carefully planned and then cancelled?
I so look forward to seeing my mom again, who is an airplane ride away. And in all honesty, not hugging my children is very difficult.
So much of our current anxiety is the fact that this is all an unknown. In the meantime, I will find comfort in my new blessings and hope that they last forever.
May peace and good health be yours.
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