On Thursday, March 12th. I left for a road trip to Charleston with my mom who had flown in from California. By the time we got to Charleston I had gotten emails from the schools saying they would be closing, my brother’s NCAA season was canceled and he was told he had to move out of the dorms, all the toilet paper in the country had been hoarded and of course, the stock market continued to free fall.

We decided to keep our Charleston weekend and deal with the world when we got back. I’m so glad we did. Charleston is lovely and it was a great opportunity to get some one-on-one time with my mom. But the highlight of the trip was this:

This is a swamp that only exists for half of the year. When the cypress trees leaf out they suck up the three feet of water that I kayaked in. This is one of the most beautiful, peaceful places I have ever been to. The eight people in our group all felt the need to whisper the whole time we were there. We got to spend two hours kayaking and I didn’t want to leave when our time was up.

I took this short video to be able to recapture the feeling of reverence and awe I felt when I was there. Our Heavenly Father is in control. Everything on Earth exists in a delicate balance but there is a master plan. I am so glad that I live with that faith and knowledge.

I was also encouraged by this quote from David McCullough’s The Pioneers. The people settling Ohio at this time were hunkering down in a stockade that they couldn’t leave because of hostilities with the Native Americans. This is what was said of the experience:

“They were united in bonds of friendship like one great family, bound and held together in a common brotherhood by the perils which surrounded them. In after years, when each household lived separate in their own domicil, they looked back on these days with satisfaction and pleasure, as a period in their lives when the best affections of the heart were called forth and practiced towards each other.”

So far, in this similar time of fear, my experiences have been the same. Today at Walmart, I heard someone apologize that he had taken more than one package of toilet paper and explain that he was picking up one for his neighbor. The two people behind me in line struck up an uplifting conversation to comfort each other. I was able to take a friend to the grocery store with me and she offered me a container of her hand sanitizer. My neighbor dropped off goodies on each doorstep on our cul-de-sac. Everywhere I turn I see examples of support and goodwill.

My hope is that all of this is over soon and that the virus doesn’t become more widespread. Someday I hope that we are able to say the same thing as the early Ohioans, that this was a period in our lives when the best affections of our hearts were called forth and practiced towards each other.

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