We sat on the tailgate of our parent’s Ford Country Squire station wagon on our way to the beach where we swam all day, made sandcastles and threw jellyfish at each other. As if we didn’t spend enough time together during the day, many times we would sneak out at night to play flashlight tag or just sit and talk about the day’s events or what we would like to do when we grew up. My fondest recollections are those of summer when life seemed sweeter and gentler with each day being more savored.
As a community, we all seemed to grow a bit closer. Today I see something vastly different. While we aren’t consumed picking up the pieces from homes and properties lost during Hurricane Charley, we have been forced to ” pause,” and with that pause, I am seeing people going back to those things I was so fond of as a child. I see couples taking early morning walks and riding bikes together. Many have taken to the water paddling kayaks or taking out those boats that have been sitting idle for months on lifts. I can hear the laughter of neighbors planning impromptu cocktail hours in the streets or on front lawns as they socially distance themselves from one another. Long overdue phone calls are being made and facetime chats are now allowing us to speak with loved ones in real-time.
During this time I’ve often wondered if this was God’s way of bringing us back to the way of life he intended for us. Where those simple pleasures and friendships we enjoyed as kids were meant to be enjoyed as adults, and not to be taken for granted.For those who celebrate Easter and the significance of its meaning, this year will be one that is very different. No longer will people be getting dressed up to go to church. Children won’t be participating in community-sponsored Easter egg hunts and small gatherings with only immediate family for Easter dinner will become this year’s norm.