TRANSFORMATION. I settled on our editorial theme for this spring back in January, and now that April is here, it feels fitting for the time we’re in. Though not at all for the reasons I had in mind when I conceived it so many months ago.

The world as we know it has been transformed by COVID-19, and one question that keeps coming up in my conversations with friends is, “How will we be changed?” I have this deep sense that there are some lessons we must learn from this experience, as a nation, as a family, and as individuals. And this time and space we’ve been given as we shelter at home affords us an opportunity to get quiet and tune into our inner voice. What is she saying? For those of us who believe in a God that’s in control, what is He teaching us through this? Will we fill every waking hour with Netflix and Zoom calls and social media, or will we allow some breathing room to take it all in?

One of our editors received an email from a dear friend who lives in Spain (where the outbreak has reached devastating levels) earlier this week in which she shared, “We expect a huge recession and economic turndown after this. It will take years to recover, but it will also change everything in people’s souls… hopefully for the best. It is no longer about “having” but about “being.”

This week, our third of being quarantined at home, I feel myself learning how to just “be.” To not constantly look to the future or think about the past, not worry if I’m perfectly on schedule (because suddenly I have no place I need to be), and instead of judging my day based on how productive it was, consider how fulfilling it was. Even though I look forward to the days when we’ll be able to go to work and spend time with friends without worrying about the spread of this virus, my hope is that I carry these lessons I’m learning into the new post-pandemic world. I hope that we all do, and that the world is better — more patient, empathetic, mindful — than the one we started with.

As we explore the idea of “transformation” on the site this season, we’ll thoughtfully approach how to freshen up our spring wardrobes, update our homes in meaningful ways, and cook in celebration of nature’s awakening. We’ll invite you to join us in slowing down and soaking in all that we have to be grateful for, and looking for ways we can show kindness to ourselves and to others. We’re all going through our own struggles and challenges through this, so instead of remembering 2020 as the year that we want to forget, let’s make it a year where we’re transformed into deeper, more soulful people. Happy spring, friends.

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Kristen Kilpatrick