Being under “shelter at home” orders has given me a new perspective on the many freedoms I have taken for granted. It seems like overnight the world has “closed” its streets, shops, cafes, parks, beaches, and even our public lands. When I do venture out for essentials, the atmosphere is filled with fear behind masked faces.
I am in my sixties and have never seen American freedoms diminished like this in the history of our great country. Two of my three children served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Our soldiers are fighting for freedom from the tyranny of controlling dictators and governments. However, fighting the unseen enemy of COVID has changed the battle to fight a common foe all across our planet.
Liberties I took for granted
This unique time in history has given me a deeper appreciation of my liberty for being able to attend church services, go to a ballgame, eat junk food at the state fair, rock out to a live concert, enjoy a theatrical performance….what once were ”normal” activities I realize were taken for granted.
Freedom of the outdoors
Fishing, boating, hiking, camping, hunting, swimming – the freedom to enjoy all of these healthy outdoor activities have vanished in so many public spaces. The outdoors and our beaches once were a healthy place for people to find refreshment. I see so many folks wearing masks doing outdoor activities when they so need a breath of fresh air.
We are avid campers, able to be self-contained, preferring to camp outside of developed campgrounds in our truck camper. However, BLM, National Parks, State Parks, etc. have been closed off. Done responsibly, this style of camping maintains quarantine, yet even that freedom has become more difficult to find.
Hope in sacrificed freedom
During WWII the American people worked together with food rationing, victory gardens, and in the mass production of airplanes and military equipment. Today the American people are working together to flatten the curve as we wait for our scientists and medical personnel to develop a vaccine and better understand how to combat the virus.
My grandchildren need to enjoy friends and school activities. Folks need to go back to work. I want to be free to hug family and friends. I need to go back to my church and worship with fellow believers. I long to camp in this nation’s beautiful parks and lands.
It is easy to focus on loss, fear, protests, and bad news. Our reaction to this unseen enemy can rip our country apart OR we can choose to come together to focus on hope, helping our neighbors, practice random acts of kindness, and most of all prayer. These things we can do, despite the many things we cannot do.
This challenging time has taught me to appreciate my freedoms in a way nothing else has. May I never again take for granted these essential, beautiful, and joyful liberties.