These Precious Days

Lara Schopp Uncategorized

The travel brakes were slammed on a year ago. My son-in-law flew weekly to Canada for a consulting job but Canada closed the borders. My friend took a corporate promotion to lead a team in Europe but cannot physically relocate due to travel bans. My nephew teaches in Spain but his mother, my sister, cannot visit. My doctor told me she has waited her whole life to be able to travel and now has postponed her trip to Italy three times.

“These Precious Days” is the title of an article by Ann Patchett where she reflected on personal discoveries and friendships that unfolded after the travel ban went into place. (Harper’s Magazine) Ann had to cease her book tour. Ann had recently befriended a new acquaintance who is Tom Hanks’ personal assistant. But by a strange, or perhaps divine, turn of events, Ann and her new acquaintance ended up sharing a home together for the first three months of covid. Not traveling opened their eyes.

Travel expands our horizons and stretches us to see life from someone else’s’ vantage point. Mark Twain claimed that, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness,” but we’ve been grounded. So has the curtain fallen on discovery?

While stuck at home this past year, I have noticed two things. One, after I spend a few hours with people, I get a high. I feel a burst of energy. I feel hopeful. Alive. Positive. And the second seems like a contradiction but isn’t. I savor a long unhurried evening at home in front of the fireplace. The leisure to not hurry through dinner and chores but to actually just sit and be is a restorative balm to my soul. Perhaps I knew this before covid. Or perhaps I needed to learn it anew. But the last year has given us time to notice life. Augustine, the pioneer of so much Chrisitan thought wrote:

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.

As we pass the one year mark of covid, what have you noticed about your own life, your own soul. What makes the day precious?

Grace and peace,
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