Unprecedented, worldwide, social distancing, flattening the curve, shortages, stay at home, distance learning, non-essential businesses closing. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions and new information, new normal the last few months as the world has struggled with how to best deal with the covid-19 pandemic.
Living in Florida, it feels reminiscent of preparing for a hurricane coming, and yet the path of this storm is worldwide, but not clearly visible on radar. We know about germs, and washing our hands, and yet we’ve become hyper aware of what we and countless others touch. The seriousness hit home as Disney and other theme parks announced they’d be closing not for a day or two but the foreseeable future.
Disaster movies, dystopian fiction have long been wildly popular, yet not something we want to personally experience. This pandemic causes us all to face how much of life is really out of our control. Microscopic germs have ushered in a whole new reality.
If I spend too much time watching the news I feel more anxiety. I purposely limit my intake amounts to be aware of any updates that affect me but not to marinate in what is out of my control. Hope rises in my chest as I hear reports of people helping one another, businesses looking for ways to assist.
My kids are at home, doing school online. My husband set up his work station in our dining room and has virtual meetings regularly. I normally work from home, so not a big change for me.
Since all this has happened a new activity has been a daily bike ride. My son has joined me many days, as his Physical Education class requires 30 minutes of exercise a day. Besides the much needed physical activity, these rides have been mentally restorative. I live on the edge of things, close enough to stores, yet there are still some country roads around us. I have loved the mental breathing space these rides give. As we ride along, the sun is shining, leaves gently move in the breeze, a snake slithers across the road and baby sandhill cranes walk alongside their parents. It’s quiet and peaceful. Nature reveals the glory and faithfulness of God, not the worries of man.
I’ve been inspired to paint some of these scenes of nature I’ve encountered on my rides, and will continue. For me this painting reminds me to refocus not on all the unknowns, or all the things we cannot do but on the beauty that remains. I’ve read many stories of people that had gone through hardships and struggles and how it transformed their priorities and relationships. I hope that that is the case for myself and for the world when we emerge from this season.