A very old and broken pocket watch.

A long time ago, I was walking on Lake Superior in the winter. The temperature was somewhere below zero though not quite to -20F where everything, at least to me, starts to become the same temperature. It was night and there was a sound in the distance. I was told by my friend that it was the ice shifting and cracking. It’s a low and ominous sound. I can’t think of an equivalent. It lit up the hair on the back of my neck.

I can almost hear that sound now coming from the people around me. Families are starting to shift and crack. We’re close to school here in our part of the world and there are parents coming to grips with the fact that not only is the fight against the virus not over, but also that they are going to have to muscle through some kind of remote learning again. And what many of us learned last time is that we’re not equipped for it.

Sadly, neither are our schools because we didn’t take the time during the initial stay at home orders, or even this summer, to build out a strategy or a plan. We’re watching in slow motion as our governments fail us a second or third or fourth time depending on how you want to count it.

Winter is coming. That’s a time when we’re indoors most of the time, but we do venture out for socialization. There are rituals to winter that involve get togethers with other people. Holidays with loved ones. Traditions of fellowship. We’re waking up to the reality that those things are gone. They’re not an option. And that this winter will be more isolation than we’ve had throughout this entire pandemic.

Where is the ray of hope? In my analysis, there is only one: we’ve seen what we are truly made of. And we are wanting. This is a call to change everything.

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