The Presence’s Present November 21, 2020
It has been a difficult year. We all could add our 2020 personal woes, but what good does it do? As my sister always says, “It is what it is, so deal with it.”
I hate that expression.
As a society we have lost jobs or seen our companies go under, missed birthdays, weddings, graduations, and other important family occasions, witnessed our students trying to learn from their bedrooms, laptops perched precariously on their laps, unmotivated amidst the loneliness of “unsocial gatherings,” watched helplessly as a torrent of hurricanes joined the despair, and turned even more cantankerous and nasty electing leadership to promote our “Great American Dream.”
The COVID 19—the presence’s present . . . wrapped in a face mask, accompanied by hand sanitizer and distance.
As the holidays near, we are told not gather to celebrate the beginning of our country, the birth of Jesus, Kwanza, Hanukkah, or any other significant events. What are we to do? We do not want to be sick, and we certainly do not want to infect other people, but we need some speck of inspiration, hope, or happiness.
Last week as I was driving through rural Greenspring Valley with my college aged granddaughter, a sophomore in college who was sent home the end of September and has been learning online since then, we were discussing some of these discouraging, weighty issues. Suddenly, she became very pensive, and after a few minutes, she said, “Mimi, the trees are a present that 2020 gave us after the year we’ve had.” I looked at her quizzically. She continued by directing me to look out the window of the car. As I did, I noticed the unusually gorgeous colors of the many trees in the valley—bright oranges, deep red and, sunny yellows among the dark browns. How could I have missed this profusion of nature’s glory, this declaration of promise amidst the pessimism of the ordinary?
We both continued enjoying this breath of beauty until we reached our destination. A momentary respite from our self-sorrow and a time-honored lesson that lifted us from ourselves and reminded us of gratitude. Later in the day, we enjoyed the same elegant landscape on the car ride home, but this time we smiled in appreciation. Life continues revealing small miracles, if only we pause to see.
The presence’s present. . . wrapped in sunlight, blazing splendor, and hope.
Thank you, 2020.