The U.S. is halfway through a fifteen day period of social distancing to stay the spread of the dreaded Corona Virus. How are you and your family and friends faring? This is a stressful time. The other day in the grocery store I saw people wearing surgical masks and with scarves wrapped around their noses and mouths. Entire rows of cleaning and paper products gaped like mouths missing all their teeth. There was still abundant food and most supplies, but fear had taken up residence on many people’s faces. During another trip to pick up prescriptions, portable tables perched against the counters holding signs with the clear message customer were to come no closer. There were no sanitizers, wipes, disinfectant, thermometers, or toilet paper.
Within the last two weeks a couple of my favorite radio hosts invited me to do their shows, to provide historical perspective to this Corona Virus emergency, and I gladly accepted. I’m providing links to “Our American Heritage” with Arch Hunter, and “Heart of the Matter” with Cynthia L. Simmons at the end of this post. Before I do, however, I have another story to share.
On Saturday I armed myself with rakes and went to do battle with a weed-choked garden area to the right of our driveway. We moved to this house at the end of last May, so watching spring unfold here is a new phenomenon for me. I knew this particular flower bed was beautiful in full bloom, but when fall came, and slender reeds turned to pulpy stalks, flowers gave their last petals, and trees deposited spent leaves on it, suddenly this feature became unremarkable, even ugly.
As I began pulling back a thick layer of damp leaves, my eyes opened wider to the sight of tender green shoots springing up from the earth in neatly planted formations. A daffodil nodded its head in greeting, and clusters of bright yellow-tipped flowers I can’t yet identify delighted me. A few well-placed rocks accented the plantings, and a bush reached out its bare branches in expectation. By the time I was finished, I stood there marveling at the beauty.
A realization struck me—in the past few years America has become choked with nastiness and bad feelings, a place in which freedom of speech and belief have taken hard hits. Our uncivil tongues have inflicted great damage. But underneath that muck lies our national soul, the beauty of our history and traditions, the way we care for those in need and rush to help those in distress. Perhaps our national emergency will be the “rake” in our citizens’ hands to clear out the mess and expose the goodness.
God bless you and your family and friends. I hope you enjoy listening to these interviews and are uplifted by their messages.
Cynthia L. Simmons