The Sun Will Come Up Tomorrow

It really will … for most of us.  And that’s why, to keep it coming up for most of us, we all as a world community we all must work together and think of friends, neighbors and a world beyond ourselves.  We’ve been, frankly, in a dark period when many are focused only on themselves and not on community.  We are not alone on this planet: we belong to a family of nations, a family of man, and a family of children of God.  It’s time to lay aside the “me first” syndrome and see and focus on the big picture of life.  So stay well, follow the rules, take care of one another, have a healthy sense of humility, don’t hord, obey The Golden Rule, enjoy the temporary respite as best you can, chill, enjoy your individuality, read books, explore nature in solitude, wash your hands, and, at least once in a while turn off the technology.

No, that phrase doesn’t come for me from “Annie” but from an experience Nikki and I had many, many years ago on a Royal Caribbean Cruise ship.  It was then a very Norwegian company and the very Norwegian Captain didn’t speak English very well.  Every evening, just before dinner, he would come on the loudspeakers with a word from the bridge telling us our position, how many miles we’d covered, the weather for the next day, when we could expect the sun to set and then he’d close with the rather ominous phrase, “and we hope for another sunrise tomorrow.”

I feel compelled to write this because, I confess — I do check social media once in a while — a long time friend of mine who is probably the most well-travelled guy I can think of, just returned from leading a to-die-for [well, given the context of today’s world I am compelled to add “not literally”] extended dream-trip to India and Kuala Lumpur.

He wrote on Facebook (and the all caps are his, not mine) ‘IS ANYONE SCARED OUT THERE? I FEEL LIKE I AM LIVING IN A BAD SCI-FI..”  I don’t think he was trying to be funny.  I can understand his feelings.  He has a good life and a huge business which at least short run, like everyone in or connected to the travel business, is in for a rough ride.  But he’s a guy who has lived through a lot and come out as a winner.  He’s not just blowing smoke, or smoking smoke, if you get my drift.

Face it: we are all scared.  Things seem totally out of our control.  The world, and our lives are changing moment to moment and like it or not, for better or worse, things will never be exactly the same.  So we are facing an unknown.  And frankly we are grieving over the passing of what we knew, not to mention all of those around the world who have lost loved ones and friends.

My wife and I used to conduct grief recovery seminars back when I was pastoring churches and we even wrote a book together called HOW TO RECOVER FROM GRIEF.  Amazingly, you can still find it on Amazon!  But one of the things we used to try and share with those who had lost loved ones was this: “Life will never be the same again, but given time and walking through the valley of grief, it can be good again.”

The sun WILL come out tomorrow.  If we pull together we will get through the storm. Cruise ships will sail again, albeit with some different protocols.  People will get sunburned and drink pina coladas on the beach.  Hopefully in some way we will all manage to grow through this experience, at least most of us.

But the grim fact is that not all of us will make it through.  If we do survive, other survivors will need our love and support.  Some companies will make it and others won’t, and the degree to which that happens depends largely on government policies and support.  Many of us, who aren’t US Senators who trade on inside information (not mentioning any names: just follow the news) will lose a great deal and for retirees, folks like me, it may mean a different lifestyle than we had envisioned.  We may need to look for new places to retire where life may be cheaper and perhaps even better. {Not mentioning any country names BUT …]

So I found this on Facebook and it deserves repeating …

So, how I’m coping …

  • Nikki and I have been taking the dogs for walks around our little village.  Don’t worry, our dogs guarantee appropriate social distance!
  • I’m getting caught up on projects like repainting our little rental casita, trimming bushes that went wild during the last rainy season, and I’m planning on  getting ready to plant more stuff when the rain comes back in May.
  • I always enjoy YouTube reruns of THE DAILY SHOW with Trevor Noah.  And I especially like his made from home stay at home THE DAILY SOCIAL DISTANCING SHOW.  I also get a kick out of Jimmy Kimmel’s show from his home.  In some ways these are better than the real thing!
  • Our good friend Jackie Kuo before he returned to California, left us an external hard drive with tons of old movies that we’ve been enjoying.  And yes, there is Netflix.
  • Getting desperate I’ve tried figuring a way to use some of the plantains we have on our farm.  Most of them we give to our neigbhors, but today I tried making Plantain Chips. It’s so much work peeling the damn things and they feel like a dead penis, not that I know what a dead penis feels like, but as I cut up the little chips I keep wondering what I really pissed off wife would feel after … well, you get the image.  ANYWAY, I’ll just pay $1.60 for a bag at the local corner store!

Normally, I’d be busy working on lectures and PowerPoint presentation for my cruise talks, but since I planned ahead and have most of them done, intending now to BE on the cruises (which have been cancelled) I have lots of time on my hands.

  • So I’m trying to clean out my computer files and delete duplicate photos and photos which have no socially or technically redeeming qualities.
  • If Nikki reads a book she thinks I will like she sticks it under my nightstand, and since, although retired, what with travel, time onboard ships, and preparation, and catching up on farm work when I’m home, I really don’t have that much time to just read.  So the pile builds!  And, sorry to burst anyone’s bubble or ruin the image, but when I’m on the ship I’m working and don’t really have time to read.  I’m not sitting by the pool, soaking up the rays and sipping over-priced drinks with paper umbrellas, reading.  So digging in the pile THE MINIATURIST by Jessie Burton shure didn’t look like anything I’d like, so I’ve kept sticking it at the bottom of the pile.  But, seeing it had a few good blurbs on the back cover and since it is set in the Golden Age of Amsterdam, I figured I’d give it a try.  And I’m hooked.  It’s a strange and unlikely story with fascinating insight into 17th Century Amsterdam.  It has lots of hooks and turns in the narrative and lots of historical cultural backgroud: a great read.
  • The other great tool, even in a technolgically deprived household, is to be able to chat with our kids and friends we haven’t talked with in years for FREE on WhatsAp!

So pulling toether, most of us will survive and the sun will come up tomorrow.  Promise.

From our front yard – We have beautiful views of the mountains and Volcan Baru and the moods seem to always be changing.  Boquete is blessed with lots of rainbows a sign of promise and hope in the Judeo Christian community, equality for our gay friends, but, interestingly for our Gnabe Bugle Indigenous neighbors the rainbow is an ominous sign.