This is to be a celebratory post, the end of 31 straight day of writing!!
However, on March 15th, that celebration was muted and our lives changed, changed forever by something that is not alive, or at least in the sense that we think of living things to be.
In that moment of change for us, it had been felt by millions and millions of people around the world already. China, Italy, Spain, France, and so many other counties who underestimated the quickness of transmission and the fact carriers are asymptomatic for many days.
Our country spent a while in this boat, and only today do I feel like our top political officials are finally taking this seriously. I feel like many in the medical community have been sounding that alarm for a while. This dampens the celebration of this final post.
Our students have been in limbo since March 15th with us unable first to even connect with them, then unable to assign or correct work turned in after March 13th. There are many things Iowans take seriously and having students on a level playing field is one of them. So we’ve been in limbo, working on various pieces of professional development (mindfulness and self-care for me), finally “meeting” our kids online, and maybe getting into the online school game. All of this is weighing heavily on everyone, muting the celebration, turning it gray and pale in the sunlight.
However, you start looking around and you see things that give you hope. Our county has rallied around our older population, offering to get groceries, medications, anything they might need. I spent time helping to get technology set up so they could connect with their faith groups on Sundays and others during the week. Teachers have connected with students and parents in all manners: by text, by phone, by computer, by video chats, and more I’m sure I’ve not heard of before. This makes the celebration become more real, more vibrant, more full of life.
Across the country, these good deeds have been noted again and again. Birthday parades for the young and old, instances of people going out of their way to help others, companies giving employees the things they need to survive this time, musicians giving concerts online or in their homes, looking to help those in need. The celebration becomes more colorful, more joyful.
And personally, in 1997, we bought our first home in Boonville, Missouri. It was a small brick house, with part of the originally brickwork open on the inside. As we went through the abstract, the plot it was originally located on was sold for cash and slaves. It was an amazing little place and will always hold a special place in our heart. That house helped us buy our home up here, and that home helped us buy our little piece of heaven in the country. That 1997 mortgage was a 30 year mortgage, set to be paid off in 2027. As of today, we are mortgage-free, a full seven years ahead of schedule.
The celebration becomes a bonfire of light, illuminating the darkness around us.
I leave you with this quote from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (yes, I’m a nerd).
This was said right before the final battle where Poe is trying to rally the troops, becoming the leader we knew he already was:
The First Order wins by making us think we’re alone. We’re not alone. Good people will fight if we lead them.
The writing is the truth and we need to continue to write the truth. We are not alone in this and people will rally if we lead them. Be the leader with your words, your actions, your true soul. Celebrate your words, your truths, and the work put into making those truths a reality.
Be that change.
Now, let’s celebrate!