A year. It’s been a year since I headed to the cabin for a couple of days to pack for a conference in North Carolina. Even then I knew I wouldn’t be attending the conference. I kept searching for signs that it was okay to go.

A vacation to Italy had already been canceled and totally refunded. But US travel that was still good. I didn’t want to fly so driving was the plan. But by the time I arrived at the cabin on Thursday evening March 12, I knew deep in my being that this thing called a pandemic was happening. I didn’t yet understand how one navigates a pandemic but I like the rest of you would learn.

I have gone from panic to preparation. In the beginning leaving the house brought a certain level of panic. A year later it takes preparation – mask, hand sanitizer, grocery pick up, where am I going and why? No wandering. No unnecessary stops.

One year ago on FB I posted “So in light of the corona virus, how do we be with friends, family and the marginalized when we cant’ be with friends, family and the marginalized. I think “we” are up to the challenge so let’s be there when we cant’ actually be there.”

I have gone from panic to presence. How to be with each other when we can’t be together? Technology has played a big role in communicating and connecting. I am grateful. Sending old fashion snail mail. Sharing puzzles. Praying for family, friends, front line workers. All have helped me feel the presence of friends and family.

I have gone from panic to peace. At a time when I feared relationships would be lost, they have actually grown stronger. Grown more precious. Wearing a mask, social distancing, vaccines, etc are our new normal. That is okay especially if it keeps us alive and well.

We weren’t all in the same boat this last year. We weren’t necessarily even in the same storm. We were each in a storm. I hope and pray you have traveled (or are traveling) from panic to peace.

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