I THINK I am supposed to be writing about waging peace through hospitality, because we are waging peace through Lent. But I am going to go off script. It’s still waging peace, but it is to speak directly to the here and now. Lent is a time of reflection, so I am going to do just that.
I was pondering what to write today, and there was, I admit it, a temptation to wallow a little. As in, “this is the Lentiest Lent that I ever Lented” kind of wallow. But I have an admission to make. Now that I am no longer feeling two parts confused and one part winging it … I kinda like the slower pace. It’s quieter, have you noticed? It’s less smelly. I see WAY more people walking past my front gate than ever, and people wave from across the street at each other. I stood on the balcony of a friend, an appropriate two meters apart, and we could see the lights on the OTHER side of the bay. We could see down to Mornington, and all the way to Queenscliff, and there was almost no traffic on the highway, so we could hear birds, from way up high.
Don’t get me wrong, it was weird. Surreal, even, but there is something to be said for one of the casualties of the coronavirus being Busy Backson, hurry up and rush about, overly scheduled, and utterly crammed scheduled at that. I’m not advocating tossing the entire work-ethic out of the window; because one thing I have also noticed, is that we need PURPOSE. And I think our houses will be tidy, our yards cleaned up and worked on, and projects that haven’t gotten to being gotten to. I know OUR house has a list. Playing games as a family has come back, or sitting down to a movie, and taking walks together.
Did you notice that people we more willing to work on physical distancing (while gathering ever closer socially, but using technology), when we were doing it for someone else? It’s like we need to be forced not to be selfish, and are more than willing to do so, with a little shove.
Sure, sure, there are plenty of not-nice stories, and goodness, don’t leave the news on 24/7 or it will overwhelm you much sooner than it should, because it IS more than a little overwhelming really. But there are also things like special hours for healthcare workers at the grocery store, and prioritising the delivery of groceries to those in quarantine or those who simply cannot make it to the stores as well. We’re going to need to notice those things more and more, in case the stories do get grimmer and grimmer. But, we’re moving slower now, so perhaps we won’t miss them as life flashes by out the car window.