Today is March 12th. As I sit in the classroom, I have two students here in the room with me and sixteen students are logged in online at the moment. I can’t see their faces, just their names appear on the screen. They can hear me (if the connection is working properly) and I can hear them (again, if technology is holding up her end of the bargain). The significance of today’s date does not escape me. March 12th is a memorable date for me and perhaps for many of you as well.
A year ago today, I was here at school. My classroom was full, it was full of noisy, sometimes inattentive students interacting with each other and hopefully with me and the lesson being presented. Passing periods were loud as the halls filled with students trying to get to their next class. There were announcements and much discussion of upcoming school events such as sports, prom, exams, college applications, graduation. The building was alive with the people that filled it up everyday. It was full because the students filled it up with their dreams, their daily struggles, their fears, their failures, their growth, their successes, their questions, with their quest to discover and to become who they were meant to be –
with so much going on inside these walls, school a year ago was a busy, bustling place, bursting at the seams with the daily drama of teenage lives on their way to adulthood. That was the reality of March 12th one year ago. Little did I know that day, that the next day all the schools would be closed. Little did I know that they would remain closed for so long. And who would have predicted that today, one year later, schools still are not fully open? (unless two students in a classroom is considered full now?) Learning is still online several days a week, if not completely. Today’s virtually empty (pun intended) classroom stands in stark contrast to my memories of one year ago.
It is difficult to look back over the past year and reflect with any sense of making sense of what we have been through. It has been a corporate experience and it has been an individual experience at the same time. Things we all took for granted have been taken from us and we are still waiting for them to be returned to us. I look back over a landscape of loss, of loneliness and of isolation. It is hard to find the path that leads back to connection, to community and to abundance. Finding that path back seems to be the challenge both publicly and personally. How do we come out of isolation and reconnect with those we have not seen in so long?
I confess – a year ago, I never thought that I would still be writing “Corona Chronicles – True Confessions” one year later. I keep waiting for an end point, a graceful exit as it were. But none seems to be in sight. I thought when COVID no longer controls our lives, that would be a good end point to “Corona Chronicles.” When COVID rules and restrictions don’t dominate the news and dictate our decisions and our daily lives, maybe then? When the virus is a memory rather than a daily reality? It seems false to end when we are not at the end. As I continue looking for the way forward, as each of us must determine for ourselves, these words come to mind,
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” (Psalm 32:8)
Those words give me hope as I continue to trust my Heavenly Father to lead me through this seemingly never ending era of COVID. He knows the way. Today, on this one year anniversary, as I look back and now look forward, I will trust Him and follow Him, knowing there will come a day when I will say these words along with David,
“You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever.” (Psalm 30:11-12)
sincerely, Grace Day