Spring arrived yesterday. It kind of snuck up on me this time. I know, it comes every year, but after this Year of Pandemic, and being cooped up and careful and socially distanced, I almost missed it.
And I shouldn’t have. I mean, all the signs are there: birds singing so loud in the morning that you can’t sleep in, even on the weekend; the returning geese calling to each other as they fly overhead at night, their voices lifted in a soft and joyous chorus. There’s a bright aura around the daffodil blooms, and the brilliant purple of crocus and dwarf iris peeking up through frost-bitten earth. And in Oregon in particular, the grass has greened up and the drone of lawn mowers once again echoes on sunny afternoons.
The earth is waking up again. As it does every year. The annual reboot of the planet.
And so must we, in our waning from what will be viewed by historians and generations to come as the terrible year of 2020–the year of plague and fire and insurrection and violence, tyranny, and incredible human cruelty–hopefully never to be repeated. Whether we accept it or not, we are (all of us) changed by the shared experience. Loved ones lost–to virulent virus, anarchy, corruption, and a wrenching of social and cultural convention. Darwinism is once again invoked, and those most able to adapt have survived.
But with this dawn of the planet, and the annual waning of darkness, we all have the opportunity to do our own life reboot. Miraculous vaccines are here, soon enough (this very spring) for all to accept the gift of life they offer. Justice is served through the courts (although the wheel turns slowly), and murderers and anarchists alike will be apportioned their due.
For the rest of us, the wheel has turned as well. We have re-visited the lessons of our ancestors and discovered long-buried genes of fortitude, endurance, patience, and yes, even acceptance. As the planet slowly reawakens with this Spring, we will re-emerge as well: vaccinated, yet cautious. A bit more wary of strangers and crowds, perhaps. Certainly better at washing our hands and enjoying the delights of being outdoors.
We saved money on gas and entertainment outside the home, and that was good.
We have a much greater appreciation for science, the medical front line professionals that work so hard to keep us well, grocery store workers, small businesses, and online shopping. And don’t forget restaurants! Or the simple act of embracing a loved one. Personally, I think I’m looking forward to that the most.
It’s never too late to start over.