My three young adult sons were coming home to join us on a family vacation. I was gleeful; this trip was long overdue and much anticipated. We were set to fly out on Sunday March 15, 2020.
Was that only one year ago? Has it already been a year?
As the song in the musical Rent asks, “How do you measure a year in a life? How do you measure? Measure a year?”
Refocusing that question for our times, these times…
How do you measure a year in a pandemic?
It is, after all, the same five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes. In some ways we measured this year and those minutes like any other, in daybreaks and sunsets and cups of coffee but also…
In family dinners (100 eaten together-a record number),
In sourdough starters,
In TV series,
In drive-by birthdays.
In empty arms and aching loneliness,
In frustrated tears,
In shattered dreams,
In missed milestones.
In heavy decisions,
In masks, and social distancing,
In long walks,
In endless conversations,
In mind-numbing exhaustion,
In Zoom working and learning.
In overwhelmed hospitals,
In bell-ringing and pot-clanging for heroic healthcare workers,
But, always and most especially…in love
In the small kindnesses from strangers that buoyed us.
In the renewed friendships with those long lost to us in the regular busyness of ordinary life.
In the love that meant so much more this year when everything else was stripped away.
That’s how I will measure this year, the only way I can, the only way that makes any sense…in love.