I just walked through my gardens and saw this single white rose on a struggling old rosebush. Most of the gardens are lush this year, and I have been taking photos almost every day of the beautiful blooms. Somehow, this single flower spoke to me on this lovely June afternoon.
The spring months have been unlike any time I can remember. Since the Covid 19 coronavirus reared its ugly head in China around the first of the year, almost every country in the world has become a victim to this pandemic. Entire countries have been put on lockdown, and people quarantined to their homes. Businesses shut down temporarily, but for some it has resulted in a more permanent loss of the business. Employees have lost jobs, and the lines at food pantries are growing each day. The death toll worldwide is unbelievable. As the death tolls began to minimize, our nation has slowly begun to return to a more normal way of life, although this new normal is far from the carefree normal we have been accustomed to. To avoid further disease spread, there are no large gatherings of people — no concerts, no sports, no school, no graduation ceremonies, no town meetings, no county fairs. The list goes on and on.
I was unable to stay away from my children and grandchildren, so I do see them, but I so much miss socializing with friends and other relatives. In our neighborhood, we talk across the fences, or stand several feet apart and chat, but none of this is normal. In the grocery stores, we must not get close to other people, and the shelves are often quite bare. We have no idea when this will end, or what our world will be like when it does.
And, suddenly, two weeks ago, another tragedy befell our nation, which has added tremendously to our fears and worries. A white policeman killed a handcuffed black man by holding him down with a knee on his neck — just seeing the TV coverage broke my heart — and, of course, enraged people all across the country. There have been demonstrations in several cities (some have become violent), and it has brought to a head the plight of so many poor black citizens in this country. We must solve the issues involved in this complicated problem, which has divided our country for years and been ignored when possible by politicians. Also, the demonstrations bring the fear of further spread of the pandemic as all of these protestors gathered together in large groups. There is so much involved in this major issue in our country — so much change needed to assure a better life for those who are treated unfairly, and changes made in our police departments to assure that the hiring standards are higher, and the thousands of dedicated, honest police have every protection they need as they watch over our communities.
And so, this post is a very sad one for me — this country of ours and the world in general, could face many more months of this virus, and years of working to lift up our black and brown communities and assure that we all coexist equally in our country. This is a time when we all must come together — we cannot solve these serious problems without being unified and caring for one another.
I am brought back to thoughts of my garden again — how the flowers are all so different and all so beautiful. My single white rose touches my heart just as much as its red brothers which grace my arbor. I have two prayers in my heart today — one is to defeat this virus before it kills more people, and the other is to find a way for our country to solve its problems and come together as people who respect and care for one another, regardless of race, creed, or politics.