Or Christmas… We will be greeted as liberators, This won’t hurt bit, the check is in the mail. We all know these are lies. Yet we still believe them. They comfort us and distract. But there is no solution in deception.
The streets of Eugene are empty with the only people outside live outside with a few joggers decked in hi-viz green and lycra thrown in. Everyone keeps a respectful distance and circles around each other on the sidewalk. As I walk into the store to get milk I am counted and watched. Returning home I strip in the hall and shower before anything.
Every day the sense of foreboding deepens. Americans have no memory and this strength is now our weakness. In other places people fight wars over things done a millennia ago; in America we cannot remember why we got mad on the freeway yesterday. This running amnesia helps meld us together but now we are stalked by an enemy that awaits our forgetting- to not touch hands and then our face, to stand too close… to want normal. You want it, you know it; to hug an hold hands. The radio speaks of all gathering for Easter and I want that. My daughter loves the egg hunts and everyone happily well dressed. Tears were shed over the painful truth that this will not happen this year.
But painful truths are what we need. This will be long and difficult. We will all be challenged by this new world we live in and many things will never be quite the same. Those of us who are lucky will get to inhabit this new world, but many will not. In the days ahead we will chose the number of the fallen. It will be tens of thousands, probably hundreds of thousands. Each number a life cut short. A beloved elder, a friend, coworker, lover, child. But it could also be millions; one percent of 9 Billion is 90 million; a Holocaust, and a Stalin combined and doubled. We cannot stop all the suffering but we can decide it’s limits.
When I get showered my daughter wants to plant a garden. Ours is overgrown and messy. The weather tomorrow cold rainy. She wants to plant flowers.
“Yes tomorrow at lunch we will find a place to plant some flowers. ” I promise. Her hands are muddy and cold but her face shines as she nods and runs off to wash her hands, leaving a remarkable amount of our backyard on the faucet.
Maybe there will be no Easter Sunday Church, but there can be flowers, life an hope. For these little hopes I am grateful.