Dear Loved Ones,
I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on hope, joy and tenacity. During this time when we are uncertain of the future and what it’s going to look like; when people are ignoring science and common sense because they believe their freedom is being limited; when the slow opening up of businesses and stores is most likely going to cause a surge in the pandemic (with the hope that we now have the needed medical equipment and ICU beds to deal with the influx), how do we hold on to hope? How do we keep putting one foot in front of the other? How do we find the energy to move through this world with kindness and love? How do we dare seek joy?
I was pondering all this the other day as Gibbs and I walked. We had gone a fair way and were walking on a grass path close to some woods when I almost stepped on it. A tiny turtle was on the path, crossing into the meadow. And then there was another one. And another. The first was just stopped as the others slowly made their way. And I stopped too. I had never seen such a small turtle… it was about the size of a dandelion crown. I looked around and didn’t see a parent, just these three babies. I wondered where they were heading, and what kind of turtle they were and how come they were here.
After we had visited, this turtle and I, I continued on my walk, and noticed a smile on my face. A simple, small gift was enough to answer my questions!
Since then I have been reveling in the little gifts, the blossoms on my apple trees, the chance for an afternoon spent on a lake, the air hug and big smile from Sister Renee out in a golf cart at the monastery, the head bump of a cat or a wag from a dog, the echo of a thank you in a hallway after delivering a meal to a homeless family while practicing social distancing.
All these things are small things. But each one brought me hope, joy and reminded me that this is what it looks like to just put one foot in front of the other. It doesn’t change the bigger picture of our circumstances, but I believe it changes the inner disposition of how I deal with it. Little gifts from God that place enough hope and joy in my heart to make it sing. Glimpses of new life that remind me of the big arch of life, not just these moments. And while the grief of the loss of life is real, there is this world that continues to unfold and embrace and astonish, which, in turn, allows the grief to be felt and acknowledged and held.
What small things bring you hope or joy? What keeps you going?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.