And we learned

by Donna Petraits

I want to tell you about when the virus came.

“Was it hard?” you ask. Yes. Yes, because we couldn’t be free to travel or shop or visit or gather as we had always done. We missed our families, our friends. We missed our activities.

“Were you afraid?” you ask. Yes, because there was a thing we struggled to understand. Too small to see, but it could – completely unawares – sneak inside of you and make a cozy home, multiply and make you sick. Make you struggle to breathe. Perhaps make you die.

It made us afraid of other people – even those we love – because they had the potential to sicken us and wouldn’t they feel bad? Or we could sicken them totally without intention or cause.

“Was it hard?” No, because we learned how many great shows and books and games we now had time for. We learned how to be “in the moment.” We learned to savor the boredom and the gift it can be. We learned to enjoy quiet and find beauty in bird songs and simple things.

And, no, it wasn’t scary because we were “together” in our experience and our change. We missed touch and hugs and pats on the back. But we could see each other, speak to each other and show our love in new and thoughtful ways.

Above all we learned new ways of thinking, Lord, and new ways of taking care of ourselves and each other. We learned how to be resilient. We learned how to be children again. We gave ourselves permission to nap, to play, to imagine, to pray. We learned to see you in the quiet, in our fear, and in those moments of joy in the darkness.