One Selfish Mistake Too Many

Published 5:21 pm Wednesday, March 10, 2021

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When I turned onto my street after returning from an early morning trip to the grocery, a group of daffodils welcomed me.   The first yellow blooms I have seen since last year, or was it two years ago?   I noticed the birds singing in the warm sunshine as I stepped from my car.   Could spring be just around the corner?

Spring means renewal, rebirth, and cleaning up.  It is the “start-over” time for nearly everything. When I think about how the world has changed since our last daffodils bloomed, I shake my head in disbelief.   I do not know about you, but I believe our winter lasted 365 days!

Now, there is hope that all Americans could be vaccinated and lying in the sun by June!  It is about time to melt all that froze us since early  2020!  Shoot, we might even hear kids splashing in pools, enjoying vacations, and attending family reunions before the end of summer.   Could it be that we are coming out of our long winter of discontent?

Or will the selfishness and impatience of some cause a winter freeze that will kill the beauty of spring before one green leaf emerges?

Because we have been vaccinated, my husband and I are finally visiting family near Florida’s southern beaches.  We drove through Daytona and other coastal towns, where throngs of folks gathered on the streets without masks, social distancing, or following many of the protocols set forth by the CDC and all medical advisors.

States are loosening restrictions, people are burning masks in protest, and again, spring breakers and party-goers throw caution to the wind just because they are tired of COVID.  News flash!  We are ALL TIRED OF COVID!   There is not a single person that does not desire a semblance of normalcy to return.  All of us want businesses and schools to open and our economy to flourish.

So, I guess we will just ignore the news about the virus’s variants and how they mutate, spread faster, and destroy.  And once the parties are over and people become sick, flood our hospitals, and overwhelm our medical caregivers, we foolishly will ask ourselves the question, “Why?”

In the Family Circus cartoon, little Dolly tries to spell her name on a piece of paper.  After erasing her errors several times, she then asked, “Mommy, how many mistakes can I make before it is too many?”

How many mistakes have we made because of our self-centered behavior that resulted in devastation since the spring of 2020?  Super spreader events such as spring breaks, massive parties, and ignoring science resulted in an unprecedented health nightmare of death and illness.

Careless, uncaring people become angry at the wrong things.  They are mad at science and defiantly ignore safety guidelines, yet they are to blame for the madness.  They are the ones who will keep our children out of school and our spring buried under their frozen hearts.

I am vaccinated, but my children are not.  We are so close to having a healthier country, but our impatience may keep us ill.  In Florida, where I am, the variants are running amok and are attending all the crowded parties gathered in the sun.  And, once the music ends, the visitors travel back to their homes across our county, taking their guest of honor with them.  The destruction begins all over again, leaving those unvaccinated facing fearful uncertainty.

How many mistakes have we made since last spring?  Could we bury our selfishness, hatred, impatience, and anger just for a while and give us all a chance for renewal?

Hope and healing will sprout if we each administer enough care to let them bloom.  Or we can round up a bucket of self-indulgence and kill them.  It is our decision as to where we go from here.  Haven’t we had enough despair and heartache?

A.A. Milne wrote of the daffodil in a Winnie the Pooh book,

“She turned to the sunlight,

And shook her yellow head,

And whispered to her neighbor:  “Winter is dead.”

It is not just the cold days of wintertime that should pass, but perhaps the coldness and impatience which lies within our hearts.

Spring is a reminder that we can change.   We can become like the daffodil who declares my winter of selfish discontent is dead because I want to hear children laugh and see families embrace.  I want to feel the warmth of the sun, watch the earth change from gray to green, and ask God to forgive me before I make one mistake too many.