Didn’t get the memo

Published 3:17 pm Tuesday, March 24, 2020

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I think most everyone is adhering to the memoranda, that’s all the various notices, sent by officials to observe social distancing. Donna Sue and I were hunkered down in Panama City Beach (I know, someone has to do it!) when that state’s governor closed the beaches.

That was alright with me since I don’t lay down in the sand and bronze my skin. Besides not appreciating the gritty sand, insurance companies and I have given plenty of money to dermatologists in the past. Plus, I procured my allotment of sun, and probably yours, when I was cropping that tobacco and pulling those weeds during my youth.

As I returned home, I noticed that at least one part of this world did not get the memo about shutting down. And I’m glad. The amaryllis in Donna Sue’s flower beds were acting as if there was no such thing as COVID-19.

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Like huge trumpets, the colorful heads seemed to blare out the message that “you can’t keep a good man, or a beautiful flower, down.” That’s the sort of spirit we need now.

Likewise, an Orange Star of Bethlehem was defying the virus and blessing my eyes. Also snapdragons and Gerbera Daisies and the Easter lilies were developing their blooms as if to say, “No social distancing for us!”

A few weeks ago, our pot of strawberry plants had bloomed and presented me with a half dozen fresh strawberries. I waited as the red color began to climb over the green. The red started at the tip and, day by day, rose up the berry and I said to myself, “Tomorrow, you’ll be mine!”

Tomorrow never came. As I passed by the plants on that tomorrow, I glanced down and noticed that the plump and soon-to-be mine berries had been STOLEN! I couldn’t blame it on the coronavirus, but on the backyard squirrels that must have been just as covetous as I. I wonder if squirrels can get COVID-19.

I wouldn’t want to wish the virus on my worst enemy, but a squirrel? Not a bad idea! Oh well, I’ve learned a lesson. Strike while the iron is hot. That’s another way of saying, “Pick the strawberries before the squirrels get them.”

The leaves on the trees and the birds that chirp among them haven’t heard about this invisible enemy that is wreaking havoc in our world. It’s business as usual for them. In their ways, they are more faithful than the powerful human being.

It’s a very unusual time and we can say that nothing like this has happened before. But it has. “There is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) I mentioned the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 a few weeks ago. A friend of mine reminded me of Europe’s devastation in the Middle Ages from the Bubonic plague.

The statistics of COVID-19 pale in comparison to the losses of those two pandemics. And that’s just two events. I’m sure there have been many others. Those horrible incidents passed and this, too, shall pass.

Another friend of mine reminded me of God’s Word. There are so many verses of Scripture that are apropos during these times.

One is Psalm 91. “He [the Most High] will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.”

No, the amaryllis did not get the memo to shut down. I’m thankful they did not, just as I am thankful for all the medical personnel and other hardworking Americans who have “kept on keeping on.” We’ll all be back soon!