“We walk until the yield sign?” Charlotte, my daughter, asks with her body pointing towards the road ahead.
“Yield sign! We walk, Mama?” Isaac, her brother, chimes in with a few jumps and fist bumps in the air.
“Yes.” I begin pushing the empty stroller. “You can walk until the yield sign and then it’s time to ride.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah!” Their cheers erupt.
The kids run ahead on the sidewalk jumping over cracks, picking up a few seeds and leaves, and running after birds. We stop and look at the purple and red flower buds.
“On your mark, get set, GO!” The kids race ahead and stop at the yield sign waiting for me to catch up with the stroller. Everyone hops in their seats, I click the tray tables in, and push off. Turning right we see our friend working in her garden of daffodils and tulips.
“Nice day for a walk,” she greets us and waves.
Turning left we see the town’s school and Charlotte reminds us that she’ll play on that blue playground next year. We pass another park and see the caution tape around the benches and slides keeping everyone safe. We look for the chickens that roam freely at a house on the corner.
We’ve been walking more than usual since we’ve quarantined in our home during the coronavirus outbreak. But we walk the same path each day. We take the same turns and listen for the same dogs to bark when they see us. We notice the same plants and trees watching for new growth and flower buds. We wave when we pass our friends’ homes whether they see us or not. We pass the same nursing home and offer a prayer for the residents and staff.
When so much is out of my control I’m finding comfort in walking the same sidewalks and roads each day, a way to mark our days, and bring rhythm to our lives right now.
But I’m also reminded of the same stories I’m hearing from church. We haven’t gathered in person with our church community but we still worship. We still walk through the stories of God’s people. We still sing in our living room and trust that others are lifting their voices with us. We still pray and say the Lord’s Prayer. We still shout Christ is Risen! We still say our alleluias.
During this time I’m clinging to God’s word and immersing myself in God’s stories over and over again. I pray every day. I walk every day. I keep looking towards the rising sun.
With each step, each story, and each moment of uncertainty, I still have the same empty tomb waiting on the other side.
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two, and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, MO. You can read more at her website, follow her work on Facebook, or sign up for her monthly newsletter.