An iris with white petals that have a yellow/orange colored center. The center of the flower has purple tinged petals

March has started, a month of switching, transitioning from winter to spring. Which means the weather can switch, quickly, from one extreme to another. Here we have experienced 70+ degree temperatures and now we will be feeling colder as a winter storm moves through our area. We’ve even had thunderstorms, which are unusual in this part of California.
In our lives, we are preparing to transition, from a quarantine to opening things like schools, restaurants, theme parks and other activities back up. We can also transition from a slight fear and anxiety when out among other people, to a more comfortable feeling as more and more people are vaccinated.

A lemonade berry bush with orange berries hanging from the branches

The idea is to move back to normal, but it is doubtful that we will be able to move completely to the type of lives we had before. While activities have gotten closed down in one way, other things have opened up, like working from home, connecting to meetings remotely and avoiding the hassle of driving to a meeting, sleeping later, and have additional time to spend with family. For some people, their lives have improved because there are new communication methods, such as video calls, chat rooms, etc, that are more comfortable for them to use when interacting with others. For others, their lives got worse due to lost jobs, illness, the loss of loved ones, and the inability to have as much human contact as they would like or need. So there is a mix of people, some eagerly awaiting a re-opening, others who perhaps dread this time and are anxious about returning to a life where they did not completely fit.

A butterfly getting nectar from a flower with tiny white petals. The butterfly wings are yellow on the bottom, with some orange and blue spots and black on the top with white markings

There are diverse ways to live life, and we now have examples of different ways of interaction. Our technology can be used as a tool to maximize the impact and interactions between many groups. Just as there are some people who prefer winter weather, while others thrive in spring and summer, perhaps we can recognize and support multiple methods of interaction. We can choose to have goals that optimize everyone thriving and that there are multiple methods of getting work done, children educated and finding ways to relax and interact with others. I also look forward to finding ways to heal those who have been hurt in their lives and help to rebuild them. By supporting everyone, recognizing our common interests, we can choose to build for a better future, in spite of ourselves. May your March lean more towards the lamb side instead of the lion and I hope everyone stays safe.

Pictures by J.T. Harpster. Selected prints of his work can be purchased at

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