March 2020 was the longest month in world history. It started out hopeful after a mild winter but ended slowly with the weight of fear, uncertainty, and concern. We’re adjusting to new roles as homeschoolers and telecommuters on top of the hats we already wear. We can’t go anywhere, we can’t see family and, oh don’t forget, the fear of the impact of the virus (health of loved ones, economic instability, just to name a few). We’re trying to keep some sense of normalcy in this global pandemic, but I feel the only normal thing right now is not feeling normal at all.
I have always been a glass-half-full type of person, and at times during the month of March, it felt like my cup barely had anything left. Those happy moments we hang onto all winter to get us by have been pushed back or forgotten altogether. All winter, I was excited for my son to meet his 92-year-old great-grandmother who winters in Florida, my husband finishing his master’s degree, and our first family vacation. Slowly but surely all of these have been canceled and delayed. Schools, restaurants, and other businesses are all closed until May 4th (at the earliest).
It’s hard to see the light at the end of the social distancing tunnel, but there are brighter days ahead.
April is the beacon of warmth and hope and this year, that is one thing that has remained true amongst all the COVID-19 turmoil. I have always loved spring. Watching the first flowers poke up from the frozen ground, the buds sprouting on the trees, and feeling the damp chilly air that is slowly getting warmer. The world seems to come back to life after a cold, dark winter. All of these are still happening. But in 2020, this season of rebirth feels so different. We have to weather the storm of April showers, whatever those may be, but there will be May flowers of all kinds.
This virus is forcing us all to pause our busy lives, remind us of what truly matters in life and is showing us how strong we really are. We’ve been stopped in our tracks and forced to adjust and move forward, but we are able to move forward. There is good out there and it’s not hard to find the helpers who are persevering through this dark time. Our doctors and nurses who are everyday superheroes who continue to dust off their capes and make-shift PPE. Those crafters making masks for hospitals and first responders. The healthcare workers keeping our elders safe and comforting them while family cannot visit. The creative ideas and resources for families to pass the time are memories our kids will remember for the rest of their lives. I put a teddy bear in my window for my town’s bear hunt and was able to witness the joy a small child in a minivan felt when he saw it in my window. I don’t know that child and he’s probably forgotten seeing the bear by now, but when I look at it, I remember the joy it gave that child.
This sadness is temporary and the hope of what will come is going to carry us through this extended winter. There are lessons learned every day we cross off the calendar and we are stronger for it. We are grateful to have another day of health on our side. There is more good news coming. The world will come back to life, we just have to wait a little longer. I’m dreaming of reunions with friends and family members. The joy of supporting my favorite small businesses. Enjoying a meal out with my own little family. Just like the flowers are still pushing through the cold ground, we too need to push a little harder and wait for our time to bloom, but think of how beautiful that moment will be.