Friday, May 8, 2020

Jubilation and Joy: It's the Little Things

Yesterday I finally got to enter a Trader Joe's. I haven't been in a Trader Joe's since mid-March when I left a friend's house on a Friday and stopped by Trader Joe's that evening. Back in mid-March, the freezer section was completely wiped out--empty. I bought cheese and wine and beer, like I had been doing. I've tried to go to Trader Joe's since, but they were only letting a few people in at once, and the line to get in stretched down the store front. I like cheap alcohol and cheap cheese, but not enough to stand in line.

Yesterday, I drove by on my way to Home Depot to get some pool chemicals, and there was no line at Trader Joe's. So I parked the car, put on my mask, and went right inside. The shelves were fully stocked--finally, I could get my cheap frozen raspberries! At various other markets during the past month, I have been unable to find frozen berries. I got lots of cheese. And of course, cheap beer and wine.

And then I was able to get right into the Home Depot, and they did have the algae killer that I needed. Hurrah!

Some days, when I reflect on how much life has changed, I am just stunned. Yesterday was one of those days. As I drove away from the Home Depot, I felt like I had won the lottery. And I thought about how that jubilation was so unusual--getting cheap cheese never made me feel jubilant until recently. I haven't been finding much in the way of the kind of cheese that you put on crackers (as opposed to bags of shredded cheese, which I've been able to find).

I've been reading a variety of documents as I try to envision how to have safe assemblies (of church members, of students) in these days when we've still got a raging pandemic with no cure and no vaccine.  Yesterday, I read this article does a really great job at explaining how this COVID-19 spreads and which places/activities have the most risk of exposure. I've seen bits and pieces of this information elsewhere, but this article puts it all together in a very accessible way.

It's hard to imagine how to keep everyone safe, but I know that others are thinking through all of these processes.  It's clear we need to avoid singing together in big groups, and perhaps in smaller groups, until we've got a cure or a vaccine or herd immunity (if that kind of immunity is even possible).

This morning, I made this Facebook post:  "Early morning baking beginning soon. This morning, a vegan chocolate cake, from a recipe from one of the wonderful Moosewood restaurant cookbooks. And then I will have chocolate vegan cake for breakfast. And then I will walk and greet the sunrise and sing all by myself, the only singing we should be doing for awhile. And then I will eat vegan chocolate cake to comfort myself."

I did make the vegan chocolate cake, and it always surprises me how delicious it is.  Likewise, I trust that those of us who see singing as a sacrament will find a way to sing together somehow.

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