When will I wake up from this nightmare?
When the Covid-19 pandemic began in March 0f 2020, little did I realize that we would end that year still masked and isolated from those we love. Many lost more than time and favorite activities. The death toll in the US and across the world hit staggering numbers.
As the first vaccine appeared on December 14, 2020, many let out a collective sigh that rolled across the country. The possibility of returning to life as we knew it seemed within our reach for the first time in over 10 months. As months rolled into years, and boosters and variants became the norm, we discovered that life had changed. Time marched on.
I feel like healing is coming. I hope this marks the beginning of the end of a very painful time in our history. — Sandra Lindsay, nurse, after receiving the new Covid-19 vaccine
I look out into my community and within my family and wonder what we will carry with us into the future. What have we lost? Did we learn anything along the way? Will we choose to hold onto a past that no longer exists?
Three thoughts occurred to me in thinking about where we have been, our current state, and the future. These random snippets may not hold the answers. They remind me of the work we have to do to heal the many wounds created during the pandemic — those from Covid-19 and those of our own making.
Healing doesn’t follow a set timeline.
Healing doesn’t always come as planned or on the timeline of our choosing. The healing never came for many. Others continue to heal bodies, emotions, livelihoods.
We heal, but our lives often never look the same.
Each day, healing requires courage. Courage to face the reality of now, and the fortitude to step into the unknown that now has created.
“The place of true healing is a fierce place. It’s a giant place. It’s a place of monstrous beauty and endless dark and glimmering light. And you have to work really, really, really hard to get there, but you can do it.”
— Cheryl Strayed
Change can build resilience.
Changes occur in how we think and face each day.
As much as I would like to think that the vaccine holds the key to returning to life as we knew it, I am still pragmatic. We can’t just wave a magic wand and wipe away death, lasting health complications, or retrieve lost moments.
I must rethink my choices. Over the past couple of years, I’ve learned that I can do without many things. How I take care of myself, my family, this planet have become more important.
If I hold too tightly to what was, I spend too much energy mourning the loss of what no longer serves me and miss the possibility of what has opened up before me.
Resilience, the ability to recover from difficulties, grows to the extent that we can face and embrace the ambiguity of change. Large gatherings, airports, shopping, and all the other mundane activities of life may look different.
How willing am I to accept what’s needed to heal? Healing doesn’t happen without change.
Unless we embrace the condition of change , the past will act as an anchor, preventing growth.
— Twyla Tharp
Hope is the lifeline to the future.
Without hope, life becomes a desolate terrain filled with obstacles and despair. I often think of this Langston Hughes poem and substitue hope for dreams. To me they are the same.
Hold fast to dreams
For it dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
I am hopeful because that’s my nature. But I am also cautious and aware that our collective healing from this pandemic will take time. More than time, it will take opening our minds and hearts to one another.
As long as we view the world in the framework of us versus them, deep healing will falter. No magic wand will fix this either.
I can’t change others, but I can do more than I think possible.
I listen more closely,
Offer a helping hand,
And take one action,
One small step,
To give hope.
. . .
Many thanks to Samantha Lazar for this Sky Collection Prompt №25 and the opportunity to offer thoughts, words, and hope.
Send me a note. Share with others. Get more at Inspiring #yourbest.
And always—be and become #yourbest.
Photo: The Path by Kathryn LeRoy
Originally published on Medium in the Sky Collection Publication
Hey Kathryn, I haven’t heard from you in a while, and I was pleasantly surprised when you popped by my blog! I hope you’ve been well! Like you, I am cautiously optimistic because I successfully applied for a student exchange to Canada for the fall semester this year. I am moving from one day to the next with the thought that eight months from now, I will be in a classroom halfway around the globe, breathing in the crisp Montreal air.
And yea, all of us need to listen to one another a lot more, and I think that 2020 forced us to discuss issues that we have overlooked in the past. Even more important now is that we should hold on to whatever we know now, and never return back to some of our old ways of thinking before the pandemic.
Thanks for sharing your insights, Kathryn. Wishing you and your loved ones a great 2021 ahead! 🙂
Ming, thanks for coming to my blog and leaving your thoughts and reflections. Wishing you the best on your student exchange to Canada. What a great opportunity to broaden your world view, which I know will show up in your writing. As we hold this moment and the next in hope, I know we can find peace no matter what circumstances appear in our lives. I look forward to hearing about your Canadian adventures.
Going back is not possible– living yesterday once again is not possible! And really, why would we want to go back? There were many things broken — things we could not see then. It’s my hope that the mist hiding what was broken or flawed is clearer now. We can keep the memory of what life was, the things that worked (because some things had to have worked, no doubt) but now, cloaked in lessons we move onward, upward and forward. *wink* — Change. Let’s embrace the change and say yes to growing. I pray for resilience to help us to heal, and for the foresight to believe/know that better things exist beyond the mist.
Lovelovelove this article, Kathryn. Thanks for the inspiration. Always grateful. Be well. I wish you Miracles.