I am working at my computer while my cat chews the cords and my son asks what’s for lunch and my husband walks by and kisses the top of my head.
I am well rested because it’s a much shorter distance to my dining room table than my office across the river, and the gym is closed and the coffee shops are too, so now I sleep a little later and go for a walk at lunchtime. I take my husband and my dog, but not my sons because they are reveling in this complete lack of structure and who am I to interrupt their processing of a world shaken around like a cup of dice before it’s turned over on its end and dumped out randomly across my dining room table?
We play games like we haven’t in a while because it’s just the four of us now, the four of us against the world and against a virus that we haven’t seen, we have only heard and imagined, and that’s enough to make us huddle together, not with the sisters who are grown and on their own, not with the grandparents who live down the street, not with the little grandson who we hope still remembers us when this is all over (please God let him remember us), but just the four of us against the world.
Not against the world, but against the forces that have gripped the world.
I read Facebook and I cry at the beauty of humanity. I read Facebook and I cry over a stranger’s suffering. I read Facebook and learn more about our adversary who is prowling around like a lion, seeking whom to devour, and then I close Facebook and leave my phone on the table. I go for my walk, and I see something growing out of the cold April ground, and my heart is happier than it was last April when the world was no scarier than it’s ever been, and happier than it was last month when things got real and unemployment claims soared and people started struggling to breathe.
I go for my walk and I see something growing, and it’s the first sign that the flowers will return like they do every year, whether there is war in the Middle East or a tax hike in the Midwest or a death in my own precious circle of people.
What brave, insolent audacity those flowers have to bloom in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of a crisis, smack dab in the middle of pain and fear and suffering!
It’s almost as if someone sees the fear stirring restlessly in our hearts. As if someone is watching us scramble to slow the spread. As if they know we need to remember that we are down here but they are up there where things look a whole lot clearer, and the end can be seen as clearly as the beginning.
The world has gone mad, but
someone forgot to tell the flowers.