This essay has no title

Like everyone else, I’ve been spending more time than usual on social media. I’m staying away from people. I’m healthy. I have what I need. If I don’t, I either do without or adapt. In short, I want for nothing.

I’ve been on the consumption side of the social media equation lately. I haven’t contributed much. There is so much good stuff out there that I have little to add that hasn’t been said. So don’t expect any profound revelations in this missive that you haven’t already heard from others. The numbers keep climbing. They will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. It’s important to remain informed, but I’ve occasionally stepped into the abyss of information overload, so I’ve learned to ration the news.

We’ve had a couple of beautiful days here in East Tennessee. A storm came through in the early morning hours on Sunday and, in its wake, we were left with warm sunshine and a brisk breeze. I opened the doors and windows in my house all day and it was quite wonderful. You’d never know I was surrounded by a generational crisis from the perspective of my little bubble. The fine weather was a welcome change to the extended period of clouds and rain we’ve experienced so far in 2020. My neighborhood buzzed with activity as people trimmed their lawns, washed their cars, and managed their routine springtime chores. Even the trees in my backyard were in on the act as they busily prepared for a new season of growth. There is much good in my neighborhood!

In the fallout from the pandemic, I seem to go through stages. You know, similar to the stages of grieving. You’ve probably heard of them. If memory serves me correctly, there are four, including denial, anger, depression, and acceptance. That sure sounds familiar to the spectrum of emotions I’ve experienced with this pandemic. I bounce back and forth so it doesn’t seem that the stages are a one-way street for me. The good news is that I’ve recently begun to taste the acceptance end of the spectrum. Yet the pandemic is far from over. I don’t think this is a sprint to the finish. Instead, it’s a marathon. In other words, I’ll continue to bounce back and forth along the spectrum of pandemic emotions.

I am certain of one thing: we are going to get through this. It’s not a matter of if, only a matter of when. The world has changed. We are being tested. History is littered with examples of heroism in the face of adversity. Now it’s our turn. This is our generation defining moment.

Winston Churchill said, “success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Today I found the courage to continue in the breeze blowing through the open windows in my house, the activities of my neighbors, and the fresh buds on the trees. I may find the courage to continue someplace else tomorrow, but I’m sure I’ll find it somewhere on the spectrum between denial and acceptance. I hope you do too!

Since the Smokies are closed, I sifted through some springtime images in my files from my favorite national park. What a great exercise! Here are a few. Enjoy!

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