Hello friends. How are you all doing? I hope you’re ok, not just in body but also in mind and soul. We’ve been ok. We are all healthy and for that I’m grateful. These are challenging times for us all, and I have felt quite overwhelmed. All of our usual extra curricular activities have been cancelled and we have been home for many days. I’m thankful for a big yard and sunny days when they come, it lifts the heaviness and helps us not to feel so cooped up.
However, in anticipation of a “shelter-in-place” ordinance, we decided to get out on the parkway this last weekend for a proper hike. The more popular areas were packed with cars and we decided to avoid those. We found a trail we haven’t hiked before that ended up being so beautiful and peaceful, and we really only saw a handful of other hikers. There are few things that are as restorative as the wilderness for us.
At the beginning of the “social distancing”, my pastor shared this quote from C. S. Lewis with us and it has stuck with me throughout these past two weeks. Lewis was writing this as they lived under threat of the atomic bomb:
“This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.”
C.S. Lewis, On Living in an Atomic Age
I admit that in these last many days, it has been challenging for me to keep to the basic activities of being human. I’ve had to be intentional in still lighting the candles at dinner, snapping photos of sweet moments and pretty things, folding the laundry, scrubbing the bathrooms, reading good stories, setting out the next day’s schoolwork in the evenings. Sometimes these things feel so meaningless when facing such imminent health and economic threat. Yet I have also been anchored by these same human activities; kept from endless scrolling of headlines, worrying and fretting. The activities of being human help me to continue on being human. And it is essential in times like these that we don’t lose our humanity.
Being outside in the sun, having moments of stillness, carrying on with normal work as much as possible, knitting, music, connecting with friends virtually, reading scripture–these are some of the anchors.
Be well, friends. It may be quieter here on the blog, it may not be, I’m not sure. I hope you are well, I hope you are finding the things that anchor you, too. A song we sing often at church is this one, and it feels more appropriate now than ever before. Sending you warm hugs, friends.