The Vernal Equinox arrives today in the Northern Hemisphere, meaning spring has finally come – even amidst the strange and unnerving times we’re currently living in. The onset and frightening spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has brought nations and citizens to their knees, business to a standstill, and is affecting every sector of society.
I, like others, anxiously wonder how we’ll make it through: work is scarce or disappearing, shelter-in-place orders make it imperative to isolate from loved ones, nobody knows how their health will hold up or how long the crisis will continue. We’re fortunate, many of us, to have online access, where we can find: the latest updates on the virus; how to keep clean and safe; help for feelings of anxiety; how to help with seniors and others unable to get their own food/supplies; how to sign up for benefits if out of work; even library resources for TV, movies, books, online classes; and of course, social media.
The more people I talk to, and the more serious the circumstances, the more I’m convinced of the importance of getting outside: for physical exercise, mental health, even planting herbs and fruits/vegetables for ourselves and others! I think of my parents, of what their generation went through during the war years of the 1940s (and what people struggling with poverty and immigration and health issues still deal with): extreme poverty, food rations (sometimes none), no resources, prejudice, scarcity of hope.
And still. Still we get through, working together, taking care of each other. Watching the wheel of the year turn – despite everything – gives me renewed faith in the rejuvenation of spring: somehow the birds still know to build nests, flowers still bloom, bugs and other pollinators frequent the blossoming plants, other animals feel spring’s rush to mate, and planting our vegetables, we feel the pull of the sun and the longer daylight, the fresh air.