Here at St. Anthony’s, we like to refer to “social distancing” as “returning to our roots.” After all, this splendid old house was built for a cloistered community.

And so the four of us burrow into our cloister.

And as we burrow, we pray that our efforts at social distancing came soon enough and stringently enough to help slow down the seemingly exponential spread of a novel coronavirus fraught with unknown variables.

Are we frightened? Should we be?

Just a smidge, perhaps.

But I went for a walk this afternoon after the weary work of tying up those loose ends that will insist on cropping up all over the place when temporarily suspending activities at a house as lively as St. Anthony’s. Brother Sun accompanied me cheerfully on my walk, as did Sister Red-Winged Blackbird and several of her cousins. While my avian sisters chose to conceal themselves in the still-bare winter trees, their music could in no way be diminished, repressed, or otherwise concealed. It was a non-stop chorus of joy.  And within that chorus lay the hope of spring and of new green wonder. Most important: within that chorus lay the assurance of hope, even when hope chooses not to reveal herself to the eye. Within that chorus lay the assurance of hope, even when fear – just a tentative smidge of it – seems at first glance to carry the day.

And so Brother Sun and I – much encouraged on our way –  continued our journey, soaking in the hope of Sister Red-Winged Blackbird’s song, rounding the corner into the driveway, and fondly parting ways: he to travel his course towards the evening’s horizon and I to burrow in my cloister.

And so I burrow.

Deo Gratias!

The comments of this post are open to all who simply need to be heard during this unusual moment in history.  Add your voice to the chorus of hope!

The comments of this post are also open to those who would like to weigh in on the question of how long it will take me to eat my way through two pounds of mushrooms.