Finally. The long night is over. Peeling off our masks, we are now beginning to emerge from our Covid cocoons, eyes blinking at the sun in a state of cautious elation. Like residents in a small town, we find ourselves smiling at strangers on the street – if only because it feels wonderful to see smiles. And to wear lipstick again. Then just as we’re about to jump for joy in celebration of regaining our freedom, the other side of the world explodes into warfare.
What a seesaw life is. While one person is flying high, wind in their hair, another comes crashing to the ground. It doesn’t seem fair, does it? How can anybody be completely happy knowing others are, at that very moment, going through unspeakable suffering. Is it selfish to be happy at times like these? Thoughtless? Do we muffle our own happiness out of guilt? That doesn’t seem fair either.
Even during these perilous times – and perhaps especially – it’s imperative we allow ourselves to be happy. We owe it to ourselves. We owe it to those around us. Suffering may be a part of life, but it shouldn't outweigh the important role of happiness. As proof, all you have to do is look at a crocus. The weather may still be wintry. The days, bleak. But despite forces working against them, here come the crocuses. Spot one poking skyward through the hardened soil, rearing its cheery head, and your spirits can’t help but be lifted. Hope has arrived.
We could learn a lot from those feisty crocuses. Yes, never forget what’s currently happening. Offer money, food, clothing, prayers. But keeping your own spirits up can have the magical effect of raising the spirits of those around you. That, too, is important work. There is so much going on right now that’s turning the world upside down. Spreading a bit of cheer in your own way helps turn it right side up.
In its own way, IWOC is trying to do just that. In celebrating life, each other and the emergence from the sacrifices we’ve all made, we’re planning to get together on April 12 in what we hope to be an annual event. We’re calling it our Spring Supper Club at the Pub – the Exchequer Restaurant and Pub, that is. Something fun. Maybe even silly. But much needed.
We hope you join us in partaking in a little cheer that we can all take home with us and spread throughout our communities.
Let us all be crocuses.
-- Laura Stigler
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