It was on Sunday, March 15, 2020 that we had our last in-person worship service before having to close our doors to guard against the pandemic that was beginning to take lives both abroad and close to home, with the first death in Canada having taken place just days earlier at Lynn Valley Care Centre.
As it happens, it was a day on which I had brought and distributed dozens of pussywillow posies, tied in Lenten purple ribbons - the bounty from a major pruning job in my garden. Over the weeks that followed, parishioners sent in photographs of their posies mounted on front doors, surrounded by Lenten candles, and adorning dining tables where newly bubbled families were gathering.
My own bouquet of pussywillows stood faithful witness to the carport gatherings we held through the following months, until even outdoor socializing was brought to an end for public health reasons in November. In the photo, you can see them in place at the hand-washing station I had set up for the kids visiting for Sunday dinners in the carport.
The pussywillows are now going strong in my living room, reminding me of all the blooms that haven't faded over this very difficult year - the love of our friends, family and church community, our parishioners' commitment to each other, and all the ways we are striving to protect each other's health and wellbeing.
I hope some of your pussywillow posies are still being enjoyed, and bring you happy thoughts of the time when we can gather together again more easily. Brighter days are coming!