I love seeing the fields of goldenrod lining our country roads. Seeing the yellow contrast the green growing to meet the blue skis is so pretty I forget goldenrod is a weed. Of course, it’s our state flower too. I saw goldenrod recently spring up from gravel and along the rocky shoreline of Kentucky Lake. The pops of yellow are sweet surprises among mud and gravel.
We’re beginning our fourth week of social distancing. We’ve left the house for curbside drop off and pick up of school assignments, although this week is actual Spring Break. And I’ve gone grocery shopping about once a week. We’ve done one drive-by birthday parade for Nana, who turned 91 last week, and have another coming up this week for our best friend turning 12.
Most days, I love being home with a clear calendar. I’ve gotten to see God do things in our family I’ve been praying about for a long time. I’ve gotten to deal with some deeply rooted things in my own soul. I’ve learned things about my kids. We figured out how to play Settlers of Catan online with our best friends. My Bible study group is continuing to talk about John on Zoom meetings. Our church small group meets, thanks to Microsoft Teams. I’ve taken long walks and talked to friends on the phone.
But some moments have been hard.
Rescheduling the mission trip to Guatemala we’d been planning for an entire year was hard. We’d be there now if it weren’t for this worldwide coronavirus epidemic. Wiping off soccer practices and games, volleyball practices, birthday parties for friends, school field trips, volunteer commitments, and family gatherings was freeing at the beginning but started cutting deeper each time. In a family of mostly extroverts, thinking about celebrating three of our birthdays in isolation together is sad. We miss our families and friends.
I realize other people are navigating many harder situations, but the reality is everyone is dealing with disappointment and adjustments of some kind. It’s okay to own the hard we’re experiencing without ranking and comparing to others.
Honestly, it’s been almost a year of weirdness for me. Right after I turned 40 in May, my dad died and the grief overwhelmed my favorite season. I finally felt more myself by the time my least favorite season was starting, and the irony was a spiritual lesson. Now we’re all in this socially distant life. Through it all, I’ve learned at least one thing: Goodness and grief co-exist. One moment can hold both. And that’s okay.
That’s where I am today. One evening I’m teary. Another morning I wake up anxious. Thankfully, we’re all healthy. I find peace when I pray and sing and reach out to friends. Getting groceries makes me anxious, but my home and all the wide-open space around it feel safe.
We aren’t in a world of either or, this or that. We are in a world of both and. It’s hard and comforting. It’s anxious and peaceful. It’s broken and beautiful. Like those pretty stalks of goldenrod that shoot up among the mud.
This is the second post I’ve shared about our coronavirus season, which is obviously unlike any spring we’ve lived before. Here’s the first post.