When I moved to San Francisco I was shocked to find that spring began in February. My birthday is at the end of the month and I grew up associating this time of year with the gray-tinged snow-sludge of southern New England, and the longing for spring flowers. So it was a delight finding that, at least in San Francisco, my birthday meant daffodil season.
We announced earlier this week that we’re going to begin holding Sunday services inside our sanctuary on February 20th. This is dependent on Covid numbers continuing to decline rapidly, and the best guess of our collective wisdom was that they will keep decreasing. In the long winter that is pandemic life, it feels like the surprised realization that flowers will be blooming soon.
Growing up, my mom would take me to the Providence flower show for my birthday, so we could have a taste of spring in the gray slog of February. Sure, it was inside a big convention center in the middle of the city, but there was a special kind of magic to creating a place for spring amidst the doldrums of cement and winter.
The idea of being back together in person is exciting and I imagine it’s a relief to many, like the realization that spring is upon us. And, I still want to hold the oasis of pandemic church with a bit of awe and tenderness. There’s a special kind of magic in having committed ourselves to creating new ways of gathering and being eternally adaptable so that we remained true to our promise to care for each other. That’s not nothing. It’s like remembering the smell of spring inside a convention center in February.
My hope is that, when the time comes for regathering in person, we remember how much it meant to tend a place for care amidst the vast winter of Covid. A return to our building is not the end of all we’ve been through and all we’ve built, it’s a widening of our experience, one which holds all that has come before and all we hope for what is to come. Through it all, we are together, still.
*Please note that my days off are typically Friday and Saturday.
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