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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