It is raining as I write this blog. The dark sky and the sound of thunder are a welcome change from the sameness of the overbearing July heat. There has been a sameness about everything for some time now. I wear the same pairs of jeans with the same shirts each day as I change out of the same pajamas after I take the same showers. I dry my hair with the same lack of concern for my appearance that is an outgrowth of the lack of variety in the current state of my life.
I know that I am blessed as I listen to rain falling on my roof. It is comfortable inside. I am surrounded by things to occupy my time. I have food in my pantry and a supply of all of my necessities. There is no reason for me to feel sorry for myself so I tamp down the longings that I have to roam freely again. I thank God for my health and for the many people who have made my life more interesting than I ever imagined it might be. Then I pray for our world. I pray that our goodness will overcome our temptations to be selfish and unconcerned with the sufferings of others. I pray that we will be willing to endure difficulties if that is what it will take to end the toll that Covid-19 has taken on our land. I pray and pray and pray.
I write my blogs even as I worry that my words are beginning to sound like an irritating noise. I clean my house that really needs little more than a bit of dusting and sweeping and mopping. It makes me feel good to be able to accomplish something, to bring a task to its conclusion. I correspond with family and friends through texts, social media, phone calls and Zoom conferences. Those links with other humans are like a lifeline that keeps me moving from one day to the next.
I will soon begin teaching again. I am almost giddy with the prospect of seeing and hearing my students. Ours will be a remote interaction but it feels almost like being together once again. I’m planning my calendar of instruction and deciding how to present the lessons. I’ve purchased fresh dry erase markers and new materials. There is an excitement to that, a purpose other than just making it from one day to the next. I have a feeling of power over the virus as I ready myself for something that feels normal and important. Even from a distance I can make a difference. What I do can be essential to the betterment of society. It feels very good.
My life has rarely followed a straight path from what I dreamed of accomplishing to the realization of my goals. In almost every case some obstacle or sudden change seemed to block my way forward. It has always been in those moments that the most wonderful things happened, reminding me that I do not always need to be in charge. I felt sorry for myself when my mother made me attend a birthday party for a cousin and then I met the man who would be by my side for the rest of my life. I was angry when there were no teaching jobs after I had worked so hard to complete my degree and then I got a call about what would be the most perfect position that I might have had. I wanted to run from the responsibilities of caring for my mom’s mental illness and then I became a stronger and more compassionate person from needing to understand what was happening to her. I know from experience that our time with Covid-19 will teach us unwanted but possibly invaluable lessons.
I look around each day at things that remind me again and again of the truly remarkable journey I have enjoyed. I realize that when all is said and done it is in our experiences with people that our greatest joy is found. It calms me and makes me certain that there is enough good in our world that we will overcome our troubles with or without leaders to guide us. It will be the things that we choose to do for love that will be the difference that we need. For love we will wear a mask. For love we will remember to help those who do not have the security that we have. For love we will allow differences, even those that we may not understand. For love we will not cling to money or things. For love we will not judge. It is in love that we will find our way to brighter days.
In the sameness of my days I arise each morning with great hope, almost ridiculous optimism. By the end of the day I am tired in body and mind. The darkness brings my worries to the fore. I begin to wonder if the world will ever be the same again and then I realize that it does not have to be. I think of the times when everything I thought I knew was upended and it turned out to be the best thing that might have happened to me. I suppose that this pandemic will indeed change us and that is not necessarily a bad thing for we were meant to evolve. This may be the very moment when we break with many of the problems of the past that have been holding us back.
The sameness of today allows me to dream of a better tomorrow. The sameness of today teaches me the importance of people and experiences over things. The sameness of today gives me time to quietly listen to the voice of God in my heart. The sameness of today is the very pause in the hectic rush that I needed to reset my priorities and my beliefs. I can finally see that there is a way forward that is far different and more meaningful than I have ever dreamed. I embrace the sameness for now.