It’s been a long time…
I have not written a post in what feels like forever, and many changes have taken place in my life over the past several months. The primary change has involved my work in the Knox County Public Library system. In March 2022, I moved to a different branch which has involved expanded duties and more hours than I was working before. My branch manager, Heather, has been a joy to know and share the work with, and the schedule at the branch will allow me to return to singing with the Knoxville Choral Society soon. I am reading more books than I have read in years, especially fiction, and I am rediscovering the pure joy of immersing myself in stories, universes built by gifted creative minds so different from my own.
I have returned to singing and serving in a church choir as well, which has contributed more to my vocal, spiritual, and even physical recovery from long-haul COVID than I ever hoped for. I have some lingering issues with my body and brain that I did not deal with prior to my illness, but I can also see measurable improvements from a year ago. So I am both grateful and optimistic, nurturing a hope that for a long time did not exist.
This week drained me more than I would have liked, and my energy is pretty much gone. But when I look at the week and where my energy went, it was worth spending all day today on the couch trying to recover.
The choir at church gathered again for Wednesday practice after taking off during July. There were hugs, smiles, laughs…and there was music, lifting spirits and voices to Heaven.
At the library, we continue to assist people who are in genuine need. Jesus said that if we even give one of His little ones just a cup of cold water in His name, we will certainly not lose our reward. (Matthew 10:42). I think that same idea must apply when we offer tissues to a crying widow or single mom as we help fill out assistance requests. As my manager said, we are truly helping “the least of these”.
We had the fun of a lunch delivery this week when two former library ladies came to visit, celebrating one of their birthdays and catching up on each of our lives. We shared triumphs and challenges, and I made a new friend. Our special “Friend of the Library” brought us flowers and candy recently. A butterfly landed in my path as I offered prayers for a friend’s job interview (she got the job!). Little things can lift our spirits so greatly, whether we receive or give them.
Here’s the thing: Some days are just hard. People are struggling everywhere. We struggle with our own troubles, frustrations, pain of all sorts. But each day also holds the potential for such great joy. So as I type this from the relative comfort of the couch that has cradled my exhausted body all day, I give thanks. I give thanks for the body that carries me through my life, even when it hurts. I give thanks for the gifts of music and literature that nourish not only me but the entire world we all inhabit. And I give thanks for the people…the ones I know and love, and the ones who pass through my days with their tears, providing me an opportunity to slow my frenzied process down just enough to offer a Kleenex, a gentle tone of voice, and a silent prayer for their circumstances.