I sit at my desk in an upstairs bedroom with a bird’s eye view of our backyard. I tune the radio to some soft music and light a flowery candle. It’s just me and the dog at home. While I type, she perches herself on the bed overlooking the driveway - ready to pounce should we get a visit from the FedEx guy, mail lady, neighbor, my mom or that rabbit that’s been living under the shed. I feel safe but it’s definitely not the typical Thursday morning.
I miss the banter with coworkers at the office. I miss seeing people at our front counter. I miss wearing an “outfit” everyday. I miss leaving work in town.
Both my immediate and extended family have remained safe through this pandemic. While it has been extremely frustrating and sad for such a close bunch, we recognize the importance and look forward to a brighter future ahead. Or, at least, that’s what we’re telling ourselves, right?
My son came to me yesterday and said he was bored; had nothing to look forward to; was all out of ideas.
This crushed me, then it ignited me.
About a year ago - when we were all going about our daily business, trying to make the most of it, thinking about plans to get together with friends over the weekend - a major rock squashed everything.
When COVID-19 invaded the earth, we were forced to deal with big changes - on all levels. Personally, as a community, as a nation, and worldwide we’ve had to cope with disappointment and sadness, isolation and confusion. It’s eaten at our souls; formed us into different people.
To answer my son’s notion about nothing to look forward to, I look back on the past 11 months and try to remember how I felt at first. I was dismayed, almost disillusioned. This is the year 2020, I thought, how could a virus stop an entire civilization at a time of such incredible scientific revolution. But, nonetheless, it did. And we did - stop.
Like slowly coming out of hibernation, we should look at today as the beginning of a new appreciation for life as we knew it. All those weeks out of the year when we used to go through the routine were precious. From school drop-off and catching up in the breakroom to attending sporting events and meeting with friends downtown - the comforts in our lives left us. We missed them and realized, though somewhat simple, they made us who we are. The exciting part? They’re on their way back which is something fantastic to anticipate.
It’s like that week before you’re going to embark on a trip to a warm climate and you’re washing your summer wardrobe. It’s like when you spend hours on the sledding hill knowing your mom is getting the hot cocoa ready for when you come inside. It’s like sitting in a hot sauna with a refreshing dip in a clear blue lake waiting just outside.
For impatient beings like my 12-year-old, (who feels like an hour is a day) this new perspective may be difficult to swallow. Still, I believe there will be happier days with happier humans ahead.