March Again? Or Still March?
Updated: May 6, 2021
March 21, 2020 at 5pm, is when our town shut down. While the Covid-19 pandemic had been percolating and then simmering, a few months prior, it got close enough to a boil in mid-March, that here in the Chicago area, we shut down. I was driving home from my last quick errand "out in the world" at 5pm. The usually busy street, was vacant - as far as I could see in both directions. It was a new and eerie feeling.
I don't think anyone believed that THIS March, a whole year later, we would still be so very much crippled by the pandemic. But here we are. I heard someone astutely put it, "Is it March again? Or still March?"
There has been, and continues to be, so much loss. So much pain, so much fear, so much despair for the past year and continuing still. We all wait and wonder, when exactly will we arrive at The New Normal? What the heck is the new normal going to look like? Will we recognize it when it gets here?
While many have endured, and still bear the scars, of unimaginable grief, for some, there has been (as uncomfortable as it is to admit) some good too. As we locked down, sheltered-in-place, socially distanced, we discovered or rediscovered some pretty special things.
Some folks baked bread, or took up a craft. I did a puzzle for the first time in many years, sometimes staying up till 2am just trying to complete the big giraffe and the elephants in my savana scene. My parents took up to cooking "together" with my brother and his girlfriend, connected between Illinois and New York, courtesy of FaceTime.
People took stock of themselves and of their lives. Reconnected with old friends and family members. A lot of dogs & cats thought it was fantastic that their people finally decided to stay home ALL THE TIME!
We, as a family, watched movies together. A lot of movies! We took turns selecting them and were able to enjoy each other's interests in a way we might not have otherwise. We shared more meals together, we had more conversations together. Surprisingly, we watched less TV and spent less time sequestered in our own rooms. We valued our time together as a family.
One of the most special things we did, starting LAST March and continuing through and beyond THIS March, is to have Sunday worship service together. Just our little family of six. We are blessed to have an in-house minister, as Darryl has been a pastor for over 30 years now. Our children led songs, prayed, passed around communion. It has been such a blessing to have that time worshiping God together in our home. Much as it might have been in the first century church. We will cherish this shared experience forever.
There are so many things in life that are complicated. Experiences that bring both good and bad. Acknowledging the good does not dishonor the bad. We sometimes feel that we cannot, should not, dare not see or feel anything good in the midst of so much bad.
But please, if you see something good, if you feel something special or happy or hopeful - reach out, grab hold and cherish it. It is okay to experience something good. It helps us to hope for better days and to believe in the renewal of life, out of our darkest hour. "...Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning." (Psalm 30:5)