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In this time of COVID-19, things I once took for granted, like dropping in for tea at a friend’s house, having people over, and stopping for groceries a couple times a week, just aren’t happening.

I am desperately on a hunt for things that are the same, or at least something oblivious to the chaos around me.

Today I water my houseplants. They are all growing bravely, and my orchid is blooming with cheer. Even my Christmas cactus has decided to add some Easter blossoms this year, an unexpected surprise. When I look out the window at our prairie, I see what I saw two weeks ago. The sky, the winter grasses, and the pond shimmer in the morning sun, unaffected by our weary, anxious world.

Daffodils are blooming behind the house and daylilies are pushing through on the warmer west side. I see grass turning from grungy brown to fresh green. The goldfinches are dressing in yellow just like I expect them to. A walk in the woods behind our house includes a concert of birds looking for mates and talking about nests and new babies. A close look at tree branches shows me tiny buds waiting for a few more warm days before a burst of lime-gold leaves. Before long, I will plant lettuce and spinach and radishes.

Beside me, my dog Rusty runs with his usual sheer joy in the moment. He sniffs and explores, so thankful to be out of his run where he shelters in place most days. He drops dead critters at my feet and I reprimand him, embracing the comfort of an ordinary event. I pat his head and he pushes against me, affectionate and playful. I give him an extra biscuit because he is here just as always.

In the house, I drink my coffee, rich and fragrant. We drink more these days, thankful for time to drink a second and maybe even a third cup. This afternoon we will drink German tea with Kluntje-Kandis, sweet sugar crystals that crackle in the tea’s heat. We will eat dinner together on the porch with the same striped napkins we used last month. We will clean up the kitchen together, each with our own jobs.

Later today I will FaceTime with my grandchildren. The older ones are learning to do online school and they miss their friends, but our youngest is too busy climbing the steps and practicing new words to worry about her health. She laughs and tries to grab the phone. And our unborn granddaughter knows nothing of the world she will enter. She is safe inside our daughter for now, growing and kicking and sheltering in the best place she can be.

Today the sun is shining brightly and I know evening will come. We will step outside and see the stars in place and the moon just where we expect it to be. In the distance we may hear a coyote howl or an owl hoot. I will look into the darkness, thankful that morning will come again.

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”   James 1:17

Helen Luhrs

An Iowa woman to the core, Helen Luhrs is a retired high school teacher who lives in the country near Knoxville, Iowa. Helen and Lee have four married daughters, eight grandchildren, a graceful prairie, and a square foot garden.


  • Daniel J Meeter says:

    Most excellent. I envy the owl.

  • Dave Schelhaas says:

    Beautiful, comforting pictures, Helen.

  • RLG says:

    Thanks, Helen, for the encouraging article. Certainly, God has put the laws that govern our world and universe in place, back at the creation of the world. We marvel at God’s created order (as do you) and how it sustains our world. But glitches in that order, such as Covid-19, demonstrate that God has remained indifferent to his creation. In spite of the millions of prayers, God has seemingly turned his back on people of every nation. I look forward to health care professionals and scientists figuring out God’s complex laws and coming up with a remedy for this endemic. But it would have been nice if God would have gotten personally involved and stopped this long ago. I guess this simply demonstrates that God is not as involved as Christians may think. I suppose this could be likened to David of the Old Testament who praised the God he saw in the created order but couldn’t understand why the wicked prospered. Where are you, Lord?

  • Bob Crow says:

    Thank you Helen. In all of our unsettledness with COVID, God’s world still moves on demonstrating the constant rhythms of His faithfulness. Blossoms and birds and buds continue. Enjoy your tea. I think I’ll go make some now.

  • Karen says:

    Thanks Helen. I can picture your porch and having tea or coffee with you. Looking out at your prairie and pond from your deck. God willing we can do that again. God is good. All the time God is goid

  • Kathy Van Rees says:

    Lovely, lovely words. Thank you, Helen.

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