comfort and joy in fear and loathing

“We’re all in this together” is something you’ve heard at least ten times already today.

Some are “in it” more than others, and some worse than others.

There are mothers and fathers, who are on the front lines of this virus war; intentionally removing themselves from their children, in order to protect them…

There are husbands and wives, living apart not out of choice, but out of safety.

Families are apart; there is fear…

There are children, who’s secure and happy place was at school, where they were nurtured and fed, and are now trapped in a home with unstable caretakers.

The essential workers… the ones on the front lines; the life savers and caretakers, and the essential workers that keep us fed and shelves stocked, the ones that bring us groceries, the ones that pick up our trash… and the ones that help those institutions to run, like my husband who travels daily to hospitals, gas stations and restaurants to refresh and refill supplies of cleaning supplies, mats and uniforms.

That’s where I am.

It’s a new sort of normal, gone are the days when I allowed the children and dogs to embrace him with squeals and barks upon his return home. Nowadays, I have him call me, I open the garage where he will strip, lay out his wallet, keys, phone, shoes, belt and lunch container. He moves straight to the shower while I decontaminate his belongings. It is not until after all of that, do I release the dogs and kids to greet him. Even then, I have a nervous pit in my gut. But, this nervous pit not about them getting sick, or me for that matter.

I worry about him. He had an underlying condition, which increases his chance of death to 8% if he were to get this virus.

It’s a very real and scary thought.

Fear and Loathing….

I hear people out there, complaining about how they are “going crazy” with the kids at home, and how I wish that were my only concern.

There is a sense of loathing in some peoples lives… a bitter resentment towards people and governments.

But: the other day, my perspective began to shift. I opened up my bible app, (don’t worry, I’m not going to get all churchy) But: what it said somehow soothed my weary and worried soul.

“The Earth is the Lord’s and everything in it.” 1Corinthians26

My husband is not mine, and neither are my kids, house, stuff, anything. I’m the caretaker and babysitter for God’s stuff. If he needs to take anything back, I need to be okay with that, and be thankful for each day I have. Of course I wouldn’t “be okay” if I lost someone, or my house burned down… but: releasing the unquenchable desire to stop bad things from happening… things I cannot control; has brought me comfort. Also: this does not mean that I’m no longer being extremely clean and cautious with the viral war at hand… God also gave us wisdom, and leaders to lead us. I am staying home, I’m not even getting the kids the free lunches that are distributed… We started self quarantine on March 4, before any of it got bad… I had pulled one of the kids out of her preschool earlier in the week and asked for a packet to get through 2 weeks, assuming that things would settle by then, but they got worse.

Finding comfort and joy….

So, now myself, a three year old, a 2 year old, an almost 1 year old and a 12 year old have “been home” but… it is here where we have found our joy. It is here where we are safe, and comforted by the things we never took time to notice before…

There is a bird that has been constructing a nest nearby, and she visits our yard daily, collecting bits of bamboo and items to make a nest for her forthcoming chicks.

The vine in the front entry has bloomed, and it’s periwinkle flowers have fed an army of bees, in which my daughter has used as subjects for her photography.

The milkweed has hosted itself to an family of Monarch caterpillars, and each day she chronicles their growth.

I’m used to homeschooling, but now even that has presented challenges, with no meetings, libraries and museums to break the monotony of days… and: attempting online ESE classes with my toddler… some days are great…

others… not so much.

So, we resort to our personal library collection of books, and we enjoy what we have.

There are moments of joy….

And times of comfort:

In the midst of the unknown; cling to those. Because thats what matters in all of this.

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