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It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

March 19, 2020
That's the name of one of Rose's favorite shows. I have caught a couple of episodes and end up feeling every bit of my 63 years--it's funny for sure, but definitely NOT aimed at my demographic. Maybe I'll revisit it during my new free time...
But I thought of the title this morning looking out the window at the glorious daffodils that have sprung up all over the neighborhood and are dancing in the sunshine. It is a beautiful day in Philadelphia, and I look forward to getting out for a socially-distanced walk later on.

The contrast between the joyful display of nature and our current situation is jarring. I remember feeling the same way on another gorgeous, blue-sky morning: Tuesday, September 11, 2001. By all rights the heavens should have been weeping torrents of rain, and the sky should have been swathed in gray...it certainly would have better matched the mood.

It took me years of pondering, but I finally concluded that it actually was fitting that the 9/11 terrorist attacks were NOT reflected in the weather that day. There was, and should have been, NO connection between God's incredible creation and the horror that had been unleashed. The warm sunshine was a comforting reminder that God's love shone on, shines on, upon God's grieving people. Despite their best efforts, the masterminds of the World Trade Center tragedy did not succeed in conquering the world. Life would go on, though forever changed.

And so it is today, as we collectively face another horror, this time a faceless and still unfolding one. The range of our permissible activities is narrowing daily, even hourly. Shops and restaurants and other gathering places are shuttered, and even the neighborhood playground, Aiden and Peter's favorite hangout, is closed, with yellow caution tape around the swings and slides, the basketball standards stripped of their baskets and hoops. It is as if everything around us is paused, and we're waiting with bated breath for whatever is coming next.

For those of us who struggle with anxiety and depression, this is an off-the-charts stressful situation. My heart aches for my fellow sufferers, and I know so many more are feeling these feelings as strange and new. I count out my antidepressants, glad I have several months’ supply, but meds only help so much at a time like this. It’s hard to practice mindfulness when you hate what’s going on in your mind.

Amid the fear and confusion, however, the birds sing. The cherry tree in the yard is beginning to bud. The sun is setting later every day now, ridiculously beautiful displays of color splashed across the sky as its evening show, until the more subtle but still, exquisite, shades of dawn herald a new beginning tomorrow.

 
“All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well,” wrote the medieval mystic Julian of Norwich. And when I look out my window right now, I can almost believe it.
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    I am an author (of four books, numerous plays, poetry and freelance articles,) a director (of Spiritual Formation at a Lutheran church,) and a producer (of five kids).

    I write about my hectic, funny, perfectly imperfect life.

    Please visit my website: www.eliseseyfried.com or email me at eliseseyf@gmail.com.