British Columbia is leaning toward declaring a state of emergency because of widespread flooding throughout the province past few days because of something called an “atmospheric river”. This, after the summer’s “heat dome” that claimed lives, destroyed an entire town, and contributed to a horrific wildfire season. And oh, like everyone else, we’re still stumbling through a global pandemic and everything that means.
From March 2020 to July 1, 2021, we were under a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. From July 20, 2021 to September 14, 2021, there was another one declared because of the wildfires. Now, the province has declared a third state of emergency in light of devastating mudslides and flooding. Another state of emergency? Sure. Why not? These, and other unspoken burdens, have me agreeing with Annie. “It’s the hard-knocked life.”
Here, at home, I turn on the tap and expect potable water to flow. The furnace is running, keeping us warm. We have more than enough food and supplies, so we don’t have to worry about grocery store shelves that have emptied due to panic buying as a result of highways being closed indefinitely. Life around here is fairly “normal” (whatever that means anymore).
I feel a push and tug between concern for those who have been displaced or otherwise affected by politics, viruses, floods, and whatever else is wreaking havoc today and focusing my thoughts on that which is good and right and beautiful in the world to preserve my mental health. How on earth does one maintain that balance? And where does action fit in? What kind?
And so it is that these things flit around in my mind as I move through my morning routine: showering, dressing, and making myself presentable for the day. With these things done, I pull down the blinds in our bedroom and am greeted by the most lovely light on the hills. I pause in my rumination, drinking in the view.
I reach for my phone to capture an image that doesn’t do the view justice, but taking the photograph marks the moment and reminds me of other moments when the handiwork of the Creator lifted me from a state of overwhelm, and whispers of mysterious things I can neither see nor completely comprehend.
I am lost silent in worship.
And another day begins, and the news is bad and it’s so easy to allow myself to get caught up in it. But instead, I set out four piles of vitamins, pour hot water over a tea ball in my mug, retrieve my granddaughter’s lunch kit, and put it on the countertop to be filled. By tending to the every day and ordinary things that make a life I’ll get through today and tomorrow and however many tomorrows I have left. Learning to love well and be loved well with sufficient grace to get through this day alone.
And on and on.