Sunday, April 05, 2020
Sunday Afternoon Tea - Our new normal
I don't know if you are having a challenge keeping what day it is straight in your mind but I am. It took a few views of the calendar to check and re-check that it is indeed Easter next Sunday. Perhaps the only regular part of our schedule that still exists is to walk the trash bin out to the gravel lane on Tuesdays.
My mind doesn't think it is Sunday. It doesn't want to write. I think it is telling me it wants all of this to be over and a return to normal... except... it also knows that normal will never be the same. We have lost our collective innocence that it is impossible for the streets of Paris and Rome to look like ghost towns. Even New York City has slowed down more than one would have ever imagined.
It will be up to those of us who care about the little things of life to make certain what is important does return. The important things of the old normal... the traditions, and the family meals, and our favorite songs playing on the radio, and stopping by Barnes & Noble after a doctor's visit, and sitting down at a real table for Panera coffee and a scone. For it is those little things that make up the big stuff of life.
It will be the people of faith who can discern the big stuff of life... what is important and what can go by the wayside. Maybe we will remember what was most valued during these days? What we missed the most? Will we remember what was so easily lost as years worth of accumulated wealth disappeared within days as the Stock Market crashed?
Will we value the people who worked in the midst of this crisis to ring up our groceries, to cook the food and make the coffee so we can use the drive thru, or the doctors and nurses putting their own health in jeopardy as they save the lives of others?
Will we ever take for granted again meeting a friend for coffee, our family at Cracker Barrel for breakfast, or just spending time at the grocery store without a mask on to protect ourselves from a hidden enemy?
Did you ever think the churches on Easter Sunday would be empty? That we would be watching the Easter message on a screen? Although if I remember, the congregation that first Easter was also in self isolation. It didn't stop the Resurrection or the Gospel going throughout the world.
There have been messages between my daughter-in-law and me confirming that we will indeed celebrate an Easter dinner, even if it is in May or June. We've been known to celebrate Thanksgiving in December before so this will be no problem.
I've enjoyed seeing her photos of Piper and baby Oliver (who is almost a toddler now) having fun during this longer than planned self isolation. There is something about the innocence of little children which gives everyone hope that all-is-well in spite of all-of-this.
We may as well find something to enjoy as we are home for long stretches of time. Other than baking brownies and cakes and watching our waistline expand that is... I have decided to dust off the rather large book on my shelves that contains The Lord of the Rings. The font is large enough that I can read it so now is the time jump into Middle-earth.
It is much better than checking social media or watching the Corona Virus updates on the news. A little is great but a lot is... not. I have had to self monitor my screen time in this time of self isolation.
I listened to an excellent talk by a speaker yesterday, he was reminding viewers that it doesn't matter how this virus came to be (whether manufactured in a lab or from animals accidentally), whether it is a judgement from God (or not), and even if it was engineered by some foreign power to crash our economy... all scenarios he had seen declared online in previous weeks.
He reminded viewers that we are to be the same in the midst of any crisis, trusting God and doing what we are called to do every day. Any time spent in speculation will only distract us from the work He has given us. I totally agree, which is why I had to stop the research I was doing about the virus. So much of it was going down rabbit trails that would make Alice's Adventures in Wonderland look tame by comparison.
Another reason to self monitor my screen time.
Recently I watched Mrs. Miniver again on Turner Classic Movies and was reminded how difficult it was for people living through that era. As it ended, my husband asked me just how many Kleenex I went through in the last ten minutes of the movie... ummm, four or five?
The movie is very loosely based on a character in a book by the author who used the pen name of Jan Struther. The book was originally a series of articles about an "ordinary woman" in England and her appreciation of the quotidian aspects of life. It is a favorite of a lot of friends who understand it is the little things that are truly important.
So my friends, until next week I pray you keep healthy, help those in need, and wash your hands when needed. Thank you for reading.
Mentioned in this Blog Post
Mrs. Miniver, movie... here. (Amazon video)
Mrs. Miniver, movie... here. (DVD)
Mrs. Miniver paperback... here.
Mrs. Miniver 99 cent Kindle edition... here. (I started reading this and it is a poor copy!)
Mrs. Miniver Kindle edition that is like the original is... here. (Okay, this version has been replaced with a bad version!)
Disclaimer: Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links. I thank you.
Image: Somewhere in Paris