Every year about this time I feel motivated to offer a reflection on change. Living in Wisconsin, the snow is slowly melting and migratory birds are coming home – Both those with wings and those who own vacation homes in Arizona and Florida. The days are getting longer in the northern hemisphere, which is a joy for most people. I’m looking forward to warmer weather too, but will miss the long nights for star observation.
This inevitable season change means that my time imaging Orion and its deep space jewels is slowing giving way to Milky Way season. Now that I better understand both seasonal observation and seasonal astrophotography targets, this transition is welcome! Still it will be sad to bid adieu to our towering sentinel of the night.
The Season of Post Covid-19
These observation cycles also point to a different kind of cycle I’m observing. Many parishioners have shared with me that they are starting to venture back into their seasonal routines and travels since the Covid-19 shutdown. I find it interesting that a number of faithful have shared an odd experience of feeling “lost time” as a return to things they love also signals feelings of loss and sadness. It affirms what I feared would be the longterm impact of Covid-19: Emotional and spiritual woundedness.
Personally, I feel a bit fortunate that the things I am passionate about away from ministry didn’t really get disrupted. Whether it be walking through a woods to drink in some time of beauty or observing the night sky, much of what I do to decompress was still a part of my life. My seasons, more or less, remained steady and stable.
I know many, clergy and laity, who were unable to find a healthy outlet during Covid. The migratory moment of having what was once familiar and consistent remains painfully distant for some as their season of discontent continues. I specifically see this in a quite troubling way among my brother priests, with some choosing to step out of ministry due to stress and anxiety. I pray their new season of life helps them find faith and peace again.
What spiritual season do you find yourself in post Covid-19? Have you been able to rediscover the sense of freedom and rhythm to life we all need to be healthy or are those sacred patterns still absent? Pray with these questions and if you find a delay in your season of normalcy, talk with someone and share those difficulties. We have all been through a lot these past years and I fear the impact is far greater than any of us realize. Still, as we slowly approach Easter, remember that Jesus promises a springtime of faith. Christ assures us that new life will spring forth. God desires your season of grace to take root.