In my 60-something years on this planet, more than half of those in this beautiful Lowcountry, I've learned that in time of crisis the best of our people comes shining through. It is happening now with the coronavirus pandemic.
We are community.
We lift up one another. We sing, we laugh, we create.
We make the best of bad situations. We help, we give, we do.
We see past the negative and find the positive.
I'm seeing more and more of this community spirit as the days go by. I hope you are seeing it too.
Perhaps you have experienced the kindness of strangers recently, or the generosity of friends. Perhaps you have participated in helping in some way. Perhaps you have shared inspirational thoughts, or simply posted something remarkable on social media.
As the number of cases of COVID-19 in our state and nation go up very day, it seems we get more creative in our efforts.
Our restaurants have been particularly inspiring. Some who have closed their doors for a while donated their food supply to local food pantries. Others, still operating on take-out only basis, are taking turns providing free meals for recently laid off food and beverage employees.
Local musicians have no place to play with restaurants, bars and other entertainment venues closed. So, Coligny Theatre stepped up with live-stream concerts on its Facebook page every evening at 7 p.m. We can hear our favorite artists play - as singles, duos and very small groups - live on our devices. Tips are much appreciated through Venmo or PayPal.
The Savannah Music Festival, which was scheduled for March 26 to April 11, has created a "Noon30" online concert series on each of the festival days. Find the free concerts at 12:30 p.m. on their YouTube channel.
Many nonprofits have figured out to host virtual fundraisers on their social media - from auctions to 5K virtual runs.
I've been inspired and encouraged by posts shared on social media. It seems families are taking advantage of being home and enjoying the imposed togetherness. I've seen photos of kids climbing trees, and a father and son going fishing together for the first time.
I'm also seeing lots of creativity from friends across the country.
My friend Harry Culpepper, formerly of Hilton Head Island and now in Greenville, where he is a drama teacher at a local high school, is holding online rehearsals for an upcoming school production.
An artist friend in Michigan, Cheryl, is posting new creations nearly every day. Cindie in Columbia is sharing a happy song daily.
We seem to be collectively rejuvenating, stepping away from the regular routine, enjoying the outdoors, and taking a breath.
Even Mother Earth seems to be revitalizing herself. Getting a break from all the gondolas and other boats in the Venetian canals in Italy, the waters appear to be clearing up.
I've seen some press releases indicating that this place or that is closed "for the foreseeable future." It's a common phrase, but it's so wrong.
We can't foresee the future - not a single one of us. We can't know how this current situation is going to turn out, how much will change in a couple of weeks or a couple of months. We can watch and learn, we can adapt to change, and move forward the best we can within potentially new and different parameters.
I'm optimistic and curious to see how we all will have adapted to whatever our new normal might be.
I'm betting we all will be better for it.