All winter long my daughter complained because we hadn’t gotten much snow. Or we had the biggest snowstorms on the weekend. Many mornings I’d wake her up before school and she’d grumpy-face around, dismayed we still hadn’t had a single day off from school.

In March, we stopped going to school. We stopped going anywhere and it didn’t have a thing to do with snow. Finally, when we were able to go out again on occasion, you heard it again and again, be sure to social distance and keep six feet apart.

We’ve been six feet apart for six months now. We had no idea how much happened in six months’ time, until they didn’t happen.

Our school’s spring musical, in which my daughter had a part, was canceled.

There was not a spring sporting event to speak of.

Opening day for baseball did happen, almost three months late.

I attended a high school graduation, in a parking lot, with graduates dismissed to walk on stage one at a time.

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There were weddings with immediate family only in attendance.

Some of us have had friends and family pass away. We have our memories but our goodbyes will be said from a social distance.

The sick who find themselves alone so they, and everyone else, can stay safe.

Students finished school online.

Meetings and workshops took place on Zoom.

Special events moved online, social distancing via social media.

Many of us don’t know when we’ll see distant family again nor what that will look like.

Author friends had books come out in a pandemic so launch activities had to be extra creative.

We’ve been six feet apart for six months now. We had no idea how much happened in six months’ time, until they didn’t happen.

I keep thinking this is forming us somehow. 

Teaching us to live simply. 

Reminding us what’s most important. 

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In my family, our I love yous sound more tender. 

When social activities are deemed safe, they feel like a very big deal.

And some days, six feet feels like miles and miles. Six months feels like years and years.

It’s just far enough, and long enough, to help us remember what, and who, matters most in life. If we’ll let it. 

Traci Rhoades

Traci Rhoades is a writer and Bible teacher. She lives in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area with her family and an ever-changing number of pets. Connect with her online at tracesoffaith.com or @tracesoffaith on twitter. She is the author of "Not All Who Wander (Spiritually) Are Lost."