Lent. Literally, the lengthening of sun-hours each day as we emerge from the darkness of winter. Light emerges from darkness, and in Lent we acknowledge the darkness of both individual struggles and societal difficulties.
The whole world is emerging, slowly, from the dark grip of a pandemic. We share in this global experience, yet we each have our individual challenges, ones that may have been thrust into focus by the shifting tide of what “normalcy” means. For some, life has become an overwhelming daily battle on the front lines of this disease. For others, it’s been a time of withdrawal, swallowing losses in rapid succession. For some, it’s become a season of reflection and assessment. A friend recently confessed to me that it’s given her time to reflect on her use of time. And I think that’s worth looking at.
How did you and I spend our time before this pandemic hit? Were our activities rewarding and fulfilling? Did we make time for things that we professed to be important? Or were we overwhelmed with busy-ness? Have you had time to ask yourself how things might be different as you emerge from the isolation of quarantining and social distancing? I know it’s a question I need to ask myself. If we take a moment to be quiet, away from distractions, and really face that question, are we brave enough to listen for the answers? If we are, the answers are there, I believe. God speaks in that quiet. And if you don’t believe in God, the quiet will answer anyway. God, or the deep truth that lives in the stillness at the center of who you are, will offer guidance. The challenge is being willing to listen. This is light emerging from darkness. This is what it means to live a Lenten journey.
Today, I’m grateful for this first day of October.
The year 2020 is moving right along. Maybe I’ll celebrate this new month by putting up a few fall decorations. All the antisocial-ness that’s come from Covid-19 social distancing has put a damper on my desire to decorate. But today, I think I’ll make the extra effort.
Today, I’m grateful for my vocal cords or, more accurately, my vocal folds.
Air moving through one’s vocal folds produces sound — a simple, but remarkable process. Before this time of self-quarantining against the threat of Covid-19, my normal week would involve several social gatherings that included some talking and a lot of singing. These days, I spend an awful lot of time at home. Alone. No singing and very little talking takes place. Yesterday, I realized my vocal folds aren’t getting enough exercise. But I think it’s time to change that. I’m thankful for them, so it’s time to wake them up and start singing again. That way I’ll be ready for the day when it’s safe to sing with others again. 🙂
Sometimes, “routine” can sound like a boring word or even a constrictive one. But now that most of us are spending many hours in a confined orbit due to the current pandemic, routine can be a blessing. Keeping a consistent sleep/wake schedule, meal schedule, work and play balance, can be one of the healthiest and most self-caring things we can do. And so, I’m thankful for it. 🙂
Today, I’m grateful for all the video chat apps, like Zoom, Facetime, & Skype.
In this time of self-quarantining and social-distancing, they’re a great help in preventing social isolation. I visited with chorus-mates on Zoom this past week, used Xroom to meet with friends, and even “Facetimed” with my octogenarian parents. Though nothing really replaces a hug, these will do for now. 🙂