“April showers bring May flowers” – English Proverb
“…for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” – Matthew 5:45
“…And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.” – Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
I am not one to believe that every bad thing in this world happens for a reason. I’m also willing to accept that I’m too small-minded to understand the reasons for some things. Either way, it’s beyond my understanding what reason it serves for hundreds of thousands of people to get sick and tens of thousands to die. What I do know for certain, however, is that whether or not things happen for a reason, purpose can be found in every situation by looking for it.
One of the ways I’ve benefitted from the COVID-19 situation is in how much I’m learning. I’m learning that I wasn’t really prepared for life to be like this or how valuable toilet paper would become. I’m learning how much our residents support the work of our staff, and how gracious and accepting you all can be as we roll out change after change. Most of all, I’m learning that I have to take this situation one day at a time, and that there is no predicting how things will turn out. This is hard because we can’t make plans for the future. All we can do is sit around and wait as information trickles in. I can only check the news and health authority updates so many times before I start getting crazy.
My youngest daughter turned one year old over the last weekend. We took lots of pictures, sent text messages and emails, and made phone calls, but mostly we just went about our normal weekend routines. There was no party and there were no presents. It was completely different than the first birthday we had for our oldest daughter, yet no less meaningful to me. In reflecting on her birthday, I thought of the quotes above, among others. I think they are good reminders for us as we deal with this situation: We have the ability to look for the good when bad circumstances happen; viruses don’t care much about who is evil or good; and life will not be like this forever, but it will forever be changing.
I’m not sure if we count because the weather changes so often, or if we count because our attention is increasingly drawn outside in the Springtime, waiting for the golden moments to escape the gloom of indoors.
It feels a little strange to talk about anything other than COVID-19 right now, but yesterday was the Spring Equinox, and this morning was just too beautiful to overlook. At a time where we can’t go to restaurants, stores, and other public places, we’re blessed to have the riverfront for our residents.
I’ve recently learned that Irish mythology almost universally describes leprechauns as wearing red. Further, and this is the real shocker to me, there is no known mythological association between leprechauns and breakfast cereals. Apparently they mostly just fixed shoes, though they were fond of playing tricks on people. I was told growing up that people wore green on St. Patrick’s Day because leprechauns would pinch anybody who didn’t, but similar to the methods of Santa Claus, I later learned that the leprechauns exclusively outsource their duties to willing (cruel) family and friends.
I tend to forget about St. Patrick’s Day and wearing green every year, with my mind turned more towards the lengthening of the days and the coming of the spring equinox. This year Daylight’s Savings Time will happen on March 8th, but by the equinox we will have reclaimed all of the lost morning daylight postponed by the change. There’s definitely a feeling of renewed vigor and energy with the coming of the equinox and the transition from winter to spring. Even though it’s been a fairly mild winter, I’ve been impatient to get back outside, and I’m looking forward to what this spring has in store.
I’ve been delighted to walk the grounds and see the early spring bulbs coming up, and I continue to check on our cherry trees to see when they’ll open this year. Our humble little driveway becomes a lane bordered by snowstorms of fragrant white cherry blossoms each year, and for the short while it lasts, it’s probably my favorite display of the season. We’ll also be holding our annual garden box lottery this month, which is the harbinger of our growing season. I’ve been delighted by all of the flowers I’ve seen in the boxes in the last few years, and hope we keep up the tradition. Whether you wear your green for St. Patrick’s Day, or you have a green thumb, it looks like the month has lots of good things in store. We’re on the march!