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.

What’s Next?

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.

What if…

I listen more closely,

Hold judgment,

Offer a helping hand,

Speak up,

Seek truth,

Breathe deeply,

And take one action,

One small step,

Every day,

To give hope.

. . .

Many thanks to Samantha Lazar for this Sky Collection Prompt №25 and the opportunity to offer thoughts, words, and hope.

And always—

Be kind. Be brave. Be you.

Photo: The Path by Kathryn LeRoy
Originally published on Medium in the Sky Collection Publication