• When I started linking my monthly summaries to Emily's quarterly blog roundups, I started using her "what I learned in..." tag, though my approach was lists of activities rather than learnings. But after close to two months of required quarantine and home lockdown for non-essential personnel, learning just might describe my own and many other's recent experiences.
• Observing #SaferAtHome #StaySafeStayHome, I've tried to keep current with design work that's plummeted because orders for restaurant and café menus aren't coming in or being updated. I've continued to blog for the adult Sunday School class I facilitate, but instead of typing up the one or two hand-written pages I refer to when we gather, I've been assembling a more detailed reflection or lesson to post late Saturdays. Here's some of what I wrote for last Sunday:
The Church has Left the Building
• In mid-April church and world celebrated an Easter unlike any Easter we've known. In early March, the church left the building, but not in our usual way of returning to home and work after gathering around word and sacrament, enjoying a tasty brunch, and then venturing out into the world. The church left the building because the authorities told us to, placing countless restrictions on where and how any non-essential personnel could go. The first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox came and went. But it never felt like Easter. We didn't gather on Saturday to polish the silver, to hang white bunting from the ceiling, to arrange flowers. It didn't feel like Easter. It still doesn't feel like Easter. We keep getting updates of county-wide and worldwide COVID-19 cases and deaths. It feels more like the empty devastation of Friday evening, of all day Saturday, as if death reigns, as if the Day of Resurrection never broke into history with the reality of new life, the death of death.
• Most people know the drill: you don't get spring's verdant bloomin' newness unless you've been through winter.
Social... Physical Distancing – at least 6 feet / 2 meters apart
• It's generally being called physical – rather than social – distancing because rules of disengagement have helped socially unite many people with activities like home schooling, board games, meal prep, etc. Carla in Tucson sent me pictures from her National Wildlife Federation Certified Habitat® backyard in the heart of the city. Jane, a friend I'd typically be lunching or hiking with, stopped by with some Farmer's Market bounty and a mask made of cute print fabric she couldn't resist when she visited a Fair Trade shop (alone, of course). A note about Carla's yard: she never applied for certification—someone else did, and she'll never know who. When the NWF peeps stopped by, they observed many birds, bees, and butterflies in the carefully stewarded habitat.
Lemonade out of Lemons
• When life gives you lemons make lemonade isn't a phrase and concept exclusive to grandparents, nor is the practice limited to folks with enough years to have acquired a bit of wisdom. As #StaySafeStayHome rolled out across the globe, many people frantically dug into home improvement endeavors, writing the Great American – or Expatriate – Novel, reorganizing from cellar to loft, everything they'd always wanted to do because, even if you had to do your usual work from your home, even when you had to teach your kids so they'd keep up with their class, you still had lots of minutes, hours, and days to fill.
• I've been on break from Facebook since Roxy kitteh's mid-October birthday, but easily can aggregate trends I see on twitter. People are learning to slow down, to do less rather than more, to make that future best seller and renewed dwelling space still happen, though in small, slow increments. Staying #SaferAtHome is having at least triple benefits of protecting vulnerable populations, getting some parts of some of those projects done, being able to tell everyone "What I learned... during the great COVID-19 pandemic lockdown."
• Shoutout to font designers Des Gomez for SunnyDaysInLA I used for this month's header and to Illustration Ink for ZPFrozenLemonade-Regular on the footer image.