Just over a year ago, the world as we knew it was interrupted as stay at home orders were imposed in our communities. For most of us, this was a chance to reconnect with ourselves and to explore some of our hobbies that may have been neglected or unnurtured due to the requirements of our everyday lives. For many, learning how to bake sourdough bread became their driving goal and for many others finding human connections through shared social media experiences was their saving grace. We shared our fear, our hopes, our curiosities, and our grief. We embraced a new normal and in the uncertainty of it, we found new ways to occupy our time and to remain in place and safe.
Father Rutler embraced the imposed quarantine. Staying safe at home, he used this new abundance of free time to feed his soul, his mind, and his heart. Occasionally, he fed himself a new recipe he has stumbled across online. He found himself reading a variety of books, both fiction and nonfiction, to fill up his days. Spending days and evenings exploring new worlds and adventures and even reading bestseller nonfiction novels, he found a reprieve from days that could sometimes feel repetitive.
He spent time with his family, enjoying the new free time he had to share in their lives. We get busy in our lives; the demands often pull us in many directions leaving our loved ones with the remaining and tired pieces. There was a mixed blessing with stay at home orders, suddenly the attention we put on the outside world could be placed with the people with care most about. Instead of planning for tomorrow’s workday and needs, he found himself in the moment, sharing movie and game nights and enjoying the fulfillment of our souls living in the present. Through prayer, Father Rutler has found himself closer to God, closer to his family, and his community. He has devoted himself to remaining faithful and filled with hope and kindness.
He witnessed how others in his community and in the world began to find ways to cope with this unprecedented event in our lives. While staying at home is necessary, it creates a sense of isolation and loneliness for many. He watched as neighbors reached out to each other, establishing new connections and friendships sparked by these unique times and understood this was one of the many ways we were going to make it through. We held socially distanced celebrations to commemorate graduations, birthdays, baby showers, and many more moments we normally celebrate among friends and family. Media coverage showed musicians playing their instruments on their balconies or in their front yards, it showed the ways we occupied our time and replenished our souls: cooking, reading, crafting, community service, and all the other many things we discovered joy and hope in. He witnessed the human spirit finding ways to thrive in quarantine, he experienced many of them himself.