Thursday, March 19, 2020

“Heart and Soul”

11:49:28 PM today, Spring arrives!  It is as early as it has been for the past 124 years.  And, winter and COVID 19 weary, we welcome the new season.  It is, of course, the astronomical spring as measured by the vernal equinox.  The word vernal, from the Latin ver, means “spring”.  Equinox means “equality of night and day.”  On the day of the equinox, the sun appears to rise exactly east and set exactly west. Daytime and nighttime are often said to be equally long, although in fact the day can be longer, depending on latitude. So vernal equinox recalls the etymology, of Lent which is a shortened form of the Old English word lencten, meaning “spring season“.

As opposed to the astronomical spring, the meteorological spring dismisses the calendar and has been offering the signs of change for some weeks. Canadian geese fly overhead, the sun’s rays are warmer, robins root around at the edges of the melting snow, looking for tasty tidbits and the maple sap is running freely.  We may well have more ‘weather’ but we can certainly deal with that!

Those who can, obeying Public Health and emergency measures, are in ‘self-isolation’ or, at least, are practicing strict social distancing.  And yet, we are not alone. Not only are we caring for one another, within the family and parish and beyond, we are in solidarity with much of the world.  How often, as we deal with this pandemic, have we watched what has happened around the globe and given thanks that, so far, we are ok.  Yes, there are fears, worries and challenges.  Yes, medical and support personnel, grocery workers and social service agency staff, among others, some of our unsung heroes to date,  are exhausted.  Yes, people are still trying to get home from holidays and trips abroad.  But, for the most part, toilet paper hoarders notwithstanding, we are being respectful and considerate.  We will get through this and the promises of Spring will be fulfilled.  

“Arise my love, my fair one, and come away; for lo the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.” Song of Solomon 2:10-12 Soon!