I miss being able to just “run out” to the grocery store.
I miss being able to think about and to plan for taking a trip to someplace new.
I miss passing someone on the sidewalk and saying hello without crossing to the other side of the street.
I miss the impromptu visit with friends.
I miss playing make believe with my grandson.
I miss going for a walk with my granddaughter.
I miss seeing our kids.
I miss not having to think if I have everything when I do go out.
To say nothing of keys and wallet and list.
I miss not having to worry about who has what and who has been where.
And, if they are “safe.”
While my missing is real, I also realize it is a privilege.
It is a privilege to just run to the grocery store.
It is a privilege to get in our car and take a trip.
It is a privilege to have a car!
It is a privilege to not worry about the person I pass on the street.
It is a privilege to have a grocery store to go to.
All those things I miss, most people in the world have never known.
Most people in the world have never imagined.
Including some not to far from where I live.
A conversation I had this week with a friend reminded me of the experiences I had in Nicaragua living in rural communities and working with families and a team of masons to build much needed homes. Even there, with latrines and bucket showers and rice and beans with every meal, we were privileged. But what I remembered from the phone conversation this week was the time when, at the end of the week, I asked the group who was with me to turn and look at the bus with its air conditioning and all our luggage piled on top and to think about the homes to which we would be returning, and then to turn and to look at the community we were leaving. Scrap wood homes with dirt floors. Latrines surrounded by black plastic. Overcrowded school classrooms with students standing because there were not enough desks. A few 16’x16’ cement block homes with a tile floor and roof that didn’t leak which we had helped to build. Looking at the community where we had lived, I reminded them that 80% of the world looked like what they saw and only a small percentage ever got to get on an air conditioned bus with all the luggage. To say nothing of the homes to which we were returning.
We forget our privilege at our own peril.
Whether that has to do with face masks and going to the grocery store.
Or with race.
Or sexual orientation.
Or zip code.