The facebook post started with, "I'm growing sourdough starter, and I have some to share and a three-foot grabber to hand it to you with." Someone responded with, "But you're supposed to keep a six-foot distance. Does that mean the other person must also have a three-foot grabber? BYOG?" and then, "Just wear your hoop skirt and have your friend wear theirs and all will be well."
Grace called "Word Play" rumbled and rolled down the screen.
My starter got delivered this morning by aforementioned sourdough starter's spouse, an administrator at a university working 18 hour days on a committee charged with figuring out how to keep the university going in this crisis. He had half of today (Saturday) off and had another errand to run (we're not on total lockdown yet) and so dropped it off on his way.
People exercise resilience when they laugh. Especially when they laugh in spite of having to figure out how to homeschool children whilst keeping up with their work, which has suddenly moved to a platform ironically called Zoom. Or when they can laugh even though today their work came to a grinding halt, which will soon be followed by a shrinking bank account. Laughter helps us stand a bit taller, shoulders back, and affirm, "Today I have food, health, things to do, and toilet paper."
Then we bend to the task of learning how to make sourdough bread and pancakes, and lesson plans. And some up and decide to join others (figuratively--being as they are each sheltered in their own homes) making face masks out of cotton fabric and elastic for health care providers at the frontlines who will be tending sick people without adequate protection. And they gather (virtually) to talk about how to get groceries to elderly shut-ins and more significantly, people who don't have a place to be safely shut in to and are living outside on the streets.
Humor helps that along. Yep. It does.
One of our pastors posted this on our church's list-serve:
Do you love Taco Bell as much as I do, and now feel stressed at the recent toilet paper shortage? Or maybe the sudden shift in school and work routines has your household ill equipped with enough bathroom tissue and you're feeling a little anxious about not being "Charmin Clean?" I was able to procure 24 rolls of Quilted Northern today that I'd be happy to give away to a good home. I'll even deliver. If you need some, please let me know and I'd be happy to get some to you.
To a tidy tuchus.
People in my various distant and local communities are aware that those who were at the margins before Covid-19 are all the more vulnerable for their lack of connection to resources. Some are talking about finding ways to donate any one time allotment of funds we get from government efforts to help to individuals and families living paycheck to paycheck who no longer have a paycheck.
So yes, amidst the mounting disappointment and fear and questions about the future, Goodness rumbles and rolls, flowing into cracks and crevices and generally managing to make its presence known.
Here's another sighting... Earth is getting a long-overdue Sabbath rest on account of shut-downs and sheltering-in-place. People in Venice can see fish in the clear waters of the canals now that the boats have stopped trolling along the waters. Pollution monitoring satellites over China noted a marked drop in air pollution during shut-down. Pollution and greenhouse gas emissions are dropping in countries where human activity is coming into rest. (Are "war-time efforts" at flattening the curve of this virus teaching us that we could also take on climate change? Sure, not without economic cost and personal loss and inconvenience. Not without huge shifts in the way we live and how we think about what it means to be humans in relationship to the rest of earth. But wait... that's what we're learning... So, yes ma'am, we're definitely learning stuff that might be useful.)
This may be our defining moment as a generation. How will we remember it in 10 years? How will we be remembered for it in 25 or 40 years? What will textbooks say about what our generation learned, about the human character forged anew out of this crisis? How did resilience show up? Did people from cultures that value autonomy and the individual manage to relinquish personal choice and freedom for the sake of others? How did they create community in isolation, and find new ways to love and serve, work and play, worship and learn?
God bless and protect those working 18 hour days who are trying to figure out how to restructure education, are caring for the sick in hospitals, and for those caring for the elderly in nursing homes, and working to keep retirement communities virus-free. God bless those who are picking up our garbage and delivering mail and all those extra mail-ordered packages, and pizza and groceries, and those who will keep fighting fires and answering 911 calls all over our communities.
If we aren't doing any of those things, we may have extra time on our hands.
What I'm doing with mine is putting together care packages, learning to make face masks, planting spinach and peas, wandering Fern Creek with my camera, taking walks up our country road, and writing about the preciousness of this very good life.