• Kerry D. Krauss

Before and After

As I was grilling some brats and burgers for dinner, the carillon began to chime. It was not five or six o’clock—it was sometime in between. The carillon was playing the Greensleeves tune…‘What Child Is This?’

First, I recognized that our carillon time needs to be updated. Second, I recognized that our carillon needed to be updated. I think we can skip Lent and go straight to Easter. Third, and more importantly, it called me back to the Christmas season—the BEFORE all of this. I liked remembering before all of this. Christmas Eve, leaving for Ohio on Christmas Day, spending time with some of Karen’s family. I wouldn’t quantify the feeling as nostalgia, it was reassuring.

There was a BEFORE. Before a global pandemic threatened lives and economies. Before daily Presidential press conferences. Before updates from the CDC. Before ‘flatten the curve’ and ‘social distancing’ invaded our vocabulary. Before toilet paper and hand sanitizer shortages. Before schools were closed and churches were paused. Before Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (that rant will wait for another day). There was a BEFORE.

At the same time I was thinking about BEFORE, I started thinking about AFTER. It is good to know there will be an AFTER. It is hard to say what the AFTER will look like or when it will start. We will all need haircuts. In my head, I envision the ‘all clear’ to be something like the repeal of Prohibition—people will be drinking in the streets, spontaneous parades of merriment will erupt, bells will ring, choirs will sing, bands will play!

I don’t know if that’s how it will be. I HOPE it is.

For today, it is good to know that there was a BEFORE—and for most people before was good. There will be an AFTER—and for most people the after will be good, too. Hopefully, we’ve learned a few things about being human. Hopefully, we will be better humans than we were BEFORE.


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