Let us forsake all our wasted days

It would be an ordinary basking day for the spiny and the green

Lizards who sun on the rocks and the fences

We would beat the palms of our hands on the opacity of windows

Before we opened them to warn off

night so late that morning is just a nap’s distance

Away

The fans would beat their wings

Now while we can

Let us forsake

all our wasted days.

Another Pandemic

The summer of 2018 was hard on us. We lost beloved kitten after beloved kitten. People in the community who fostered kittens talked about PTSD and loss.

The agony of hope and grief was indelible, but so too was the change in my experience with veterinarians.

Some refused to care for the kittens; others failed to tell us what was really killing them. I had always thought that veterinarians were doctors for animals, with the same abiding principles of integrity and common good.

That is what I thought before.

Now I know that for many it is just an income stream, a path to selling things in order to make a living.

I think about that summer. It was a bad summer for panleuk. There was a terrible tragedy unfolding for the most vulnerable among us. Back then, the people were ok, but the wee kittens had no chance.

Now I think about it because the pandemic we face this summer is counted in human lives.

Let us all hope and pray

That the people we trust with our lives

Are in this for the right reasons

And for the distance.

18,000/3 weeks from today

While my son brushes his teeth I take the number of people who have died by now from Covid-19 in the United States and divide it by our total population

Then I find what Day Italy had the same ratoo

Then I take the number of people who died in Italy today

And divide it by the total population

Then multiple that decimal by our total population

By this rough equation

Three weeks from now our fatalities will bave

Risen to 18,000

And all the pleasant pictures

I have been having the mildest of stress dreams–quirky, bureaucratic hotel check ins, attempts to gather the hard-to-shepherd, things washed away. I know why the dreams have come, and I doubt they will leave me soon, even if the heat and intensity of a gathering sun should cause them to lose their inevitable grip and dissipate

I turn to morning songs and croak out broken praises

Think I should listen to the Gospel, but chose Isaiah instead

Because these are old

And New Testament times

And we are all in wont

of fierce faces

Isaiah 2:16 KJV

[16] And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.

Our last pandemic

A couple years ago my family went through a pandemic. It was a bad year for kitten parvo or panleukopenia, and we were kitten fosters.

We lost them all and watched the feral kittens at a local park disappear one by one.

It was devastating. Some shelters were euthanizing kittens on arrival. It changed everyone who was involved.

And I stopped fostering kittens. My kids couldn’t take it anymore.

Everything felt normal on the outside that summer. Humans all around us lived totally unaware of the chaos and brutal death we experienced.

I think about that summer every day. The numbers on this pandemic are not as catastrophic as the panleukopenia, but each death represents a wound to family, friends, and community.

I believe in hand sanitizer and sterile fields, but I believe in our eternal nature more.

We need to pray, to sing loud to God. We need to make our lives count for something eternal

Every day we have

Together