I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a rule follower, or because I’m in the “risk” category, or both, but I’ve kept the six-foot distance-or the “two supermarket carts apart” in stores-rule for weeks. Most friends in my age bracket have done the same and I haven’t had a hug or kiss from my grands since mid-March.
The upside is sheltering at home has allowed me to complete projects–those I said I’d get to “when I have time”. That I have had. My days, aside from writing, have included cleaning closets, spreading mulch, and organizing photos. One look at my calendar shows blank squares, pathetically bare of appointments or fun places to go. My dining room table has no place settings for family.
But my horizontal life-staying home and maintaining a six-foot distance from people-doesn’t mean I haven’t traveled. My coffee and longer quiet time early morning, Bible study, a plethora of worship opportunities Sunday morning, and Zoom discussions and prayer meetings, have offered much vertical life while in staying in place.
It’s been joy when new and familiar Bible passages have been revealed to ponder and discuss with friends.
My blank calendar offers the opportunity to reevaluate and decide how I want to fill in spaces when this crisis ends.
I’ve been retraining my thinking and adjusting my focus on what is important, necessary, urgent, or desirable.
Refreshment in quiet and solitude without interruption to get to a scheduled event, has been welcomed.
At night I purposely remember what each day looks like-softer, no rush; gentler, no time requirements; sensitivity to those in difficult places; and greater appreciation of human contact I’ve missed.
Though I’ve had the freedom and opportunity to check off my list of tasks and sit in quiet, the severity and effects of the pandemic are not lost on me. Two friends are grieving. One checks with staff daily on her elderly mother who resides in a nursing home where no visitors are allowed. I know several weddings moved from beautiful venues to a backyard or a living room with a limit of ten guests. Yes, many have suffered physically, financially, and emotionally.
Our social guidelines during this pandemic measure distance horizontally, and six feet is the rule for the way we currently live. As we prayerfully ponder personal changes and support those experiencing serious effects, we can reflect and reposition. Let’s remember we can stretch vertically where there is no rule or space.
How have you traveled while maintaining distance?