How are you?
No really. How are you?
The world has gone a little more nuts than we thought it would … or could. Which is saying a lot.
A novel virus has been introduced into humanity and the world collectively holds its breath. But after leaving one growing family in a quieting southern town, sending a daughter to her home across oceans and into uncertainty, and driving across seven or so states to return to my wee home, I am both hopeful and uncertain.
A lot to process. So after 16+ hours of driving and then picking Izzy up from Jan Camp, I did what any other sane person would do, I climbed over my luggage and washed the giant dog.
It sounded like a good idea at the time. You know, I like to have a relaxing shower when I get home. Maybe Izzy does, too?
As Izzy dries wrapped in a blanket and my hair still drips from that last great idea, I want to check in with you.
How are you?
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Bored with social distancing? Anxious? Wondering if your income will be there on the other side of this very real viral event? Tired of take out?
And as I am wont to do, I am wondering what I can do now. To listen. To love and build community.
While bits of meals for the next few days thaw and my luggage is half-emptied and the soothed soggy pup snores beside me, I wonder if you may want a few cool stories – encouraging moments of people – often strangers – coming together in the face of such unknown?
In nearby Lawrence (home of that other Kansas university) is a great place for pie, The Ladybird Diner. Full disclosure, the pie is a delicious way to feed your sweet tooth, but the Ladybird people feed souls. In their everyday ordinary, they listen, offer a sammich, invite people in and build community. Right now, they’re building pb&js and a few other sack lunch signature bits for folks who may be hungry and scared. Check them out on Instagram at Ladybird Diner if you need a little sweetness to your soul. Be sure to keep a hanky handy.
Way to go, Italy! What’s not to like about the Italian homegrown response to national lock down? In a country where life happens up close and personal, neighbors separated by an unseen virus have created concerts, exercise classes and even a tennis game while keeping COVID-19-safe distances.
Boredom busters: Museums, New York’s Metropolitan Opera and other online learning communities join the Smithsonian in offering live-streamed exhibits, nightly operas, art and science projects to do with your kids (or with your dog) and so much more.
- In Kansas, we can still explore the wide open windy spaces.
- Around the world, people are running errands for elderly or immuno-compomised neighbors.
- We are calling one another and putting social media to good use by face-timing and Skyping to check in with the people we love and a few we may only marginally tolerate.
- Schools are making sure that kids need not go hungry knowing that more often than most people realize, school meals are the only food source for many kids.
- Businesses are getting creative, officing at home, keeping the fires lit and paying staff that can’t make it to work.
- We are slowing down in this moment where community must take new forms. We need not be lonely nor let our neighbors languish.
- We are being given the opportunity to hope in uncertainty, face the quiet and find fresh ways to approach family, work and community.
- We don’t have to stop slowing down and caring for one another when we finally get the all-clear to go about our lives. Remember how people have drawn together in past emergencies and how good that felt? We don’t need to let it slip by when the sportstering begins again and daily life looks more like it did two weeks ago before that speeding train rolled to an unceremonious stop.
Tonight, I’m going to deliver shoes to my friend, Clara, by knocking on the door and dashing away to the end of the steps. Izzy and I will then saunter forth for our first walk together in over a week, staying clear of folks who may be sick or may soon bump up against someone who is sick.
And I’ll be back tomorrow to see how you’re doing. Listen to what you are discovering, and what has you wondering. We may be thinking about some of the same things or be able to offer something new to one another. Something sweet, like hope.
In the meantime, I offer a little hope that I found on an acquaintance’s Facebook timeline: