I guess it is safe to start writing again, now that I am completely sure that Spring is here. It was touch and go there for a few weeks. This year, one of the flowers I have really enjoyed seeing bloom around my neighborhood has been the Magnolia. This seems ironic to me as Magnolia are associated with the South (the Magnolia is the state flower of Louisiana and Mississippi) and I live in Washington State, which is one of the most un-Southern places I have experienced in my life.
When I was a kid growing up in the South, Magnolia were everywhere at this time of the year. They helped me to get through a particularly rough year of middle school. No matter what, I could look at them and feel better because they were so beautiful and strong. Even though life was not perfect back then, it was much simpler back then, even before I figure in all of the chaos brought about by the pandemic and all of the adjustments I have had to make in its aftermath. I am still hopeful, though, just like the kid I was then, that everything will be alright.
Today marks the first time in a while that I could just sit down for a little while and look out of my window. It also marks one of the few days recently that the sun has been out. My kids are wrapping up their first fully remote semester of school and they have learned and accomplished a lot considering that. Before all of this, they had done home schooling, but this has been somewhat different, especially in light of all of the other closures and social distancing. Sometimes I hope that we can adjust to being around people again when it is safer and things go back to, um, more normal (?) Some days, I know we all mourn the loss of the way things were before, but today I will be thankful for the progress and the sunshine.
It is difficult for me to believe that Saturday is going to be the 4th of July. My life is unrecognizable when I attempt to look back twelve months, much less 18 or 24. I still have hope. I still have joy. But so much is so different. I am truly sorry for the things I took for granted, but with each quiet moment I am making peace with permanent losses so I can be prepared for the opportunities that I know lie ahead.
Life is short. When I think about all of the energy that people invest into negativity, it just seems more important to me to try harder to help someone else. There are so many people out there who need help and hope.