First Day of Spring – March 19, 2020. Today is the earliest spring in our lifetime (calendar-wise). In central Minnesota it is currently 37 degrees and foggy. Most of the snow in my back yard has melted and the rhubarb is starting to sprout.
In a typical year, my only priority is to survive the long, cold winter and make it to spring. This year has been anything but typical. The weather hasn’t been too bad. No crippling storms, no polar vortex. The “thing” we are battling is not weather.
We are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. I feel blindsided. The virus had been creeping into our news cycle for the past month and a half and overseas travel restrictions were put into place. But there wasn’t really a cause for concern. We live in the middle of the continental United States for goodness sakes. I noticed rice disappearing from shelves. Then the entire pallet at Sams was missing. It seems overnight people rushed out to buy hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Next thing I know, JO volleyball tournaments were postponed and then the NCAA Tournament was cancelled. I couldn’t imagine spring without March Madness. Then schools closed. And movie theaters. Now malls and many other businesses. We are slowing inching our way toward “shelter in place.”
What we are experiencing is unprecedented. The closest thing in my lifetime is -9-11 and that was different. I transitioned quickly from questioning if this was an over-reaction to wishing the government would put stricter guidelines in place to try to “flatten the curve” faster. Thankfully, I am not consumed with fear, but the future is uncertain.
I am incredibly sad for my teenagers stuck at home. Particularly for my high school senior who is missing out on all of the celebrations of this milestone. But I also feel hope. Perhaps it is my faith in God and people. Perhaps it is this is a chance to reset how we live. To change our priorities. To think bigger than ourselves. Of course I am realistic that when this is over things will return to the way they were, however, I am hoping that small seeds of change will be planted in us all.
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13