June 2, 2021
I’m finding myself yearning for normalcy these days. The pandemic has obviously thrown us all for a considerable loop (more about that in Sunday’s sermon), but it’s more than that. If you’ve been following Noticings for a while you’ll know that my family is in the midst of a house odyssey. Last week we purchased a new home, and yesterday our current one was listed for sale. (Anybody wanna buy a nice house in Bowmanville?) As you can imagine we’re both elated and stressed at the same time. But the unsettling part is that our house doesn’t look or feel like ours anymore. All of our personal items and decorations have been removed and replaced with fluffy and furry things, and 10,000 throw pillows! (Yes, I’m exaggerating, but only a little.) We’ve finished all the heavy lifting (both literally and figuratively) and all that’s left for us is to keep it clean and sit and wait for offers. Except we can’t sit anywhere! (Did I mention the pillows?)
So I’m yearning for normalcy. I fear I won’t get it until we’re well moved into our new place, and the boxes are emptied, and we know where things are. I don’t need assurances that nothing will ever go wrong, or that life in the new digs will be perfect. That’s not normalcy. I’m thinking more of the simple rhythms of life and leisure. Having time (and energy) to pursue our passions. Being able to choose activities instead of our endless to-do list. Binge watching a favourite show. Binge reading another book. Binge anything except cleaning and packing!
Or how about the normalcy of walking into a public place without fear of viruses? Or having a conversation that isn’t through a mask? Or shaking a hand, or giving a hug? Or going into the church and seeing more than 4 people gathered? The normalcy of in-person worship. The normalcy of fellowship. The normalcy of meetings. The normalcy of a potluck dinner! The normalcy of not being so weary, and fearful, and cooped up, and restricted. Oh, how I yearn for normalcy! I know that day is coming, but as it approaches the waiting feels harder.
I’m not suggesting I want everything to go ‘back to normal’ – to how it was in the before-time. There are some formerly normal things that we could well do without. In time there will be a ‘new normal’ that we’ll all figure out. But it’s not here yet. The Leafs are out of the playoffs in the first round, so I guess that’s a step back toward normalcy! Every person vaccinated is another step. I hope everyone does their part. But that’s out of my control. Just like my house sale. For now I guess I’m stuck with the abnormalcy of froofy pillows and stressful showings. So I remind myself that it’s all temporary, normalcy beckons, and that even here in the abnormalcy of my world right now that I’m not alone. Surely, God is in this place. Somewhere. Maybe behind some pillows.