When the All-Clear Comes

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Writing now what I plan to say then…

It’s been a long time. Really long.

That second week of March was supposed to be different.
Thermostats off and basketball on. Primary votes in and cherry blossoms out.
But it’s hard to think about the expected when the never-before rises.
We were planning for Social Studies. But got assigned World History.
Extraordinary, morphed. Downward.

But we also discovered some stuff.
The classroom was lonely and the tests unending, but we did learn.
And lived. In some cases for the first time.

We saw our flexibility increase.
Before all this, we rarely stretched, so it hurt.
We preferred user-friendly to effort, so we chased convenience by default.
But the unavoidable pain exposed us. A little soft. A little spoiled. And little too first-world.
But we’ve matured a bit.
Not knowing when isn’t as scary as it once was.
Not knowing who, especially if they’re our neighbors, isn’t acceptable anymore.
And not knowing, actually not having every answer, has humbled us. And humble people grow.
We’ve grown.

Also, what’s most important in life has been adjusted.
And most shocking of all, what’s most important in life has been adjusted.
We watched it. A rattling of priorities. Slow-motion earthquakes seem to do that.
And when the sifting stopped, what didn’t change, was on top.
A smaller list.
Sports are cool.
Entertainment is fun.
Politics is war.
But when compared to family, and friends, and faith, and staying alive, some things central have dropped to secondary. And that’s a good thing.
Now that those things are back, we understand more about what they are. And what they aren’t.

And the big picture isn’t quite as fuzzy.
The man in Brisbane, the woman in Barcelona, and the child in Baltimore shared a struggle.
An enormous issue revealed a tiny world. Where suffering, concern, care, and humanity were, and are, all common.
Our dialects are different. Our traditions, distinct. Our pigments, varied, and our biases, real.
But the globe grappled.
We, fought. From here and there. And even there.
And the team with different uniforms won.

It’s a new day.

There are tables to reserve.
Races to run.
Hands to shake.
And hugs to receive.

And, some important choices ahead.

But for the moment, the world seems better.
And so do we.

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