When I was five, my older brother and I built a “fort” behind the living room sofa. We’d hide behind it in the darkness, tightly squeezed against the wall, and imagine all sorts of situations that only we could resolve! Sometimes we battled villains with swords, occasionally we blasted into space to face some unknown evildoer, and often we simply sat shoulder to shoulder to face our next challenge. In the end it didn’t really matter, however, because we were always victorious! Yeah. That’s the sort of stuff envisioned by the mind of a five-year old.
As I write this blog late-April, my wife and I have been “sheltering in place” within our home for more than five weeks hoping to “flatten the viral curve” of this pandemic. Like you, we’ve given up much for the well-being of others, including important family events. And, like you, we are increasingly hopeful that soon we can, once again, enjoy that which we previously took for granted. By the time this blog posts on May 7, that may certainly be the case as our president just revealed a three-tiered plan to “reopen the country.”
When you’re five, you’ve experienced little of what life will ultimately send your way. You’re mostly concerned about whether or not your mom baked another batch of Toll House chocolate chip cookies and when dinner will next be mac and cheese. And, well, hidden in your safe place behind the living room sofa, you’re ready to help the town marshal beat the bad guys again the next time they ride into town.
But we’re not five-year-old’s using our imagination while hiding behind a sofa. This is real, and we are beating the “bad guys” together by sheltering in place. In the meantime, cherish the beauty of each day. Focus on what you still have, not on what you have lost. Look to the future with optimism and leave this viral darkness behind when it’s time to, once again, walk into the light. We’re “America strong,” and our future is bright. Be well.
“I will love the light for it shows me the way,
yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.”