The holidays have always been our busiest time. A good, fun, spiritually uplifting time. This year the dark cloud of a pandemic hovers over us causing anxiety and sadness. Yet it offers a chance to slow down and reflect.
People have been calling about sleigh rides. I sense a tone of desperation in their voices. They seem to be trying to find something fun and positive to do in these difficult times. The need to make family memories is strong for mothers with small children especially at the holidays. I have to admit it is hard for me to tell them we are not doing rides or farm tours this season due to the pandemic. I explain we just can’t promise a safe experience even with social distancing and mask wearing. Some don’t seem to be concerned, assuming the experience is outside and they would only be with people they know. I know this might sound selfish but I told one person I wasn’t as much concerned about her family as I was about mine. People make decisions about the risks they are willing to take. I told her I can’t take a chance on getting sick because there is no one to take care of the animals. We recently heard about two acquaintances whose fathers contracted the virus. Both got sick and were gone in a matter of a few days. There is no coming back from being gone. Taking this risk for me is not an option.
We are living through this by taking one day at a time. Sometimes it seems like we are in slow motion. Like when you were 14 and wishing you were grown up.
We look for signs of hope. A vaccine. A change in leadership from chaos and meanness to civility and compassion. The reaction to the pandemic and the polarization of society has revealed a lot about who we are. Some of it is good and comforting with people helping people. Some of it is ugly and disgusting. Us against them. Me first, your on your own. I hope time will heal these wounds but I’m afraid it will take generations to do so. We are a long way from being through this so maybe things will change.
As I reflect on the present I scan the future for what might be. The spring always brings new life and nature renews itself. I am keeping my spirits up by imagining what spring 2021 might bring. I fantasize about a vaccine that will protect me and my family from the virus. I dream about a day we can lose the masks, see people’s smiles and feel the comfort of a simple hug.
One day at a time. Time to look at the seed catalogs. Time to order some chicks so they will be laying when the farmers market opens.
I so look forward to opening up for visitors. I look forward to hearing the rumble of school buses pulling up the driveway and unloading excited children.
When I made the decision to shut down last spring I didn’t think this thing would last this many days. Most people didn’t. I made a promise, a commitment that once this passed we would have a big party on the farm where we could celebrate victory and return to normal. I had a dream last night about such a celebration. People came. Children laughed. Friends and families gave each other hugs and caught up on the news. I pray that this dream will come true. One day at a time.
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