As I looked out my front window at home this morning, I could see many daffodils that have poked their heads out of the earth. A sure sign that spring draws closer. But as I look out my office window on a campus that should be bustling with energy and life, I find the opposite. The speed and depth of the coronavirus has had an amazing impact on our lives. Anxiety, stress and fear have become our companions as we look at the uncertainty of what the future brings. Students and faculty can no longer interact in-person, and seniors have been robbed of their last semester experience on campus.
In the midst of this, what can keep our spirits buoyed? What can give us purpose as we face each day?
The experience of a natural disaster or a pandemic forces us to focus on what is most important in life. On that level we reach deep within ourselves and ground ourselves in family, friends and faith. It is there that we draw strength and feel integrally connected to who we truly are. As long as I have these three things, I can give up a lot of the daily comforts to which I am accustomed. When I invite God into my life each morning, it helps me keep perspective and reassures me that I am not alone. This challenge draws us closer, not physically out of a concern for social distancing, but as human beings whose destiny is bound together. Maybe it is my imagination, but I am convinced that when I last went to the grocery store, people were a little more friendly, held their gaze just a little longer with a smile on their face.
I miss the friendly faces and energy of our students. But I know my daffodils will bloom and be radiant this spring. They warm my heart, which is good, because I am holding all of you there these days. Take good care and be healthy!