“Dear diary . . .

Nothing ever happens!”

The above sentence is the first line of one of my favourite Canadian movies, 1985’s “My American Cousin.” The line is spoken by the main character, 12-year-old Sandy, whose summer of boredom in 1959 on her family’s fruit farm on Okanagan Lake in B.C. is disrupted by the arrival of a handsome Californian cousin Butch.

I thought of this line as I prepared to write this final entry in a series of daily reflections, a series that I began 28 days ago on March 18. I started these reflections because I felt the need to reach out; and they have acted a bit like a diary for me. Thank you to those who have read one, some, or even (!) all of them.

During the pandemic quarantine, one day can bleed into the next, and boredom can become a problem for those of us who are neither sick nor on the front lines of keeping the health system and other essential services going. “Nothing ever happens!” might resonate with those suffering from boredom or a bit of cabin fever.

At the same time, news of the pandemic and its manifold effects continue to unspool at a breathless speed. Has there ever been a time of greater change in most of our lives?

So, I identify with the character Sandy. She is both bored, and she is poised on the massive changes that characterize adolescence. Like many of us, she is caught between the pain of “same-old, same-old” and the fear and excitement of what is happening and what is coming next.

Even as we wait in isolation this spring, we have so many unanswered questions. When will the pandemic peak in Canada and around the world? When will antibody testing be ready to identify those of us who have had COVID-19? When and how will physically distancing be lifted? What will the economic and social consequences be of this unprecedented shutdown? What lessons will we learn individually and collectively from the pandemic and our governments’ responses to it? And so on.

From time to time, I may write another reflection, post it here on the church website, and link to it from the church Facebook site or the “What’s the Buzz” e-newsletter. But for now, I will focus more on preparing for Sunday worship and its reflections.

As we wait, cope with boredom, and try to manage with the massive changes that are probably coming our way, please feel free to contact me at any time.

As the United Church of Canada Creed says. “We are not alone.”

Ian

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Sandy meets Butch in 1959 — from “My American Cousin”

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