Kids out of school, asking questions tougher to answer by the day.
Our distractions are all but gone.
Forced to be around ourselves so much, despite the internet age and all that comes with it, we can feel so alone.
Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Or is this the deep breath before the plunge?
Amputees have said that after they lose a limb, they can sometimes feel an itch or some other alert from a part of their body that no longer exists. And in a time like this, we realize that we took so much for granted, never realizing just how much until we no longer have choices.
This is a new road for us. It’s a heavy feeling knowing we are going through something that our children will tell their grandchildren, staring back with disbelieving eyes.
“You couldn’t go to work? Schools were closed for months? Did you think you were going to die?”
Yes, we are all witnesses to a history we would rather not be a part of, much like many other generations have been. World Wars, Kennedy, 9/11. So many instances where people were forced to contemplate their own freedoms and uncertain futures. Bringing one’s priorities under the unforgiving eye of a scope can be quite jarring, down to the core of who we are.
It’s not until you can’t do the ordinary, that you realize how extraordinary things are.
But it will get better.
Not long from now, be it weeks or months, things will get better.
We will all begin to return to our normal ways of life. We will congregate, hug, hi five, and slip back into the world of physical contact. The world had begun to fool us that with the existence of the internet, human to human exchanges were all but unnecessary.
One thing we’ve learned very quickly is that we need each other. We still have twitter and Instagram, video games and netflix, and all that comes with it.
But it’s not the same.
Soon we will interact again on all levels. Stadiums will be filled with music and people. Why go to a concert when you can hear a better version of the song at home, out of your own speakers?
Because it’s about the experience. The SHARED experience.
Ballgames will be played. We can go back to the pointless voyeurism of sports, where some of us live and die with brightly colored laundry, only to revisit the experience the next day through media and water cooler conversations.
We need the pointless. We miss the pointless. We crave the benign.
People will smile at each other more. The markets will recover, the economy will soar. The entire world will be a real-life representation of Andy Dufresne in Shawshank Redemption: crawling through yards and yards of foul smelling filth, only to come out clean on the other side.
That’s not to say the damage won’t be lasting.
Jobs will he lost, finances either ruined or seriously wounded. And of course, loved ones will die. Nothing can erase that or make it ok.
But we will make it. And we will be better than we were before. We will wipe our eyes and step out into the sun squinting from the glare.
Ever try to squint without a smile?
We will remember, even for a short time, not to take the ordinary for granted. We will appreciate our fellow human beings even more. Sure, we will make time to bicker over petty ideologies by having endless arguments that are completely unwinnable.
But we will do those things together.
In the meantime, look for the helpers. Become one yourself, if you can. Remember that so often when society is on the edge and things seem most dire, that’s when so much opportunity for growth and love presents itself to us.
You can do this.
Take advantage of what free time you may have and reconnect with yourself, reconnect with your loved ones. Read a book. Learn a language. Do some of the things you always swore you’d do one day but never had the time.
Be kind. Be generous. Be loving.
You can do this.
WE can do this.
I believe in you.
And one fine summer day, we will all take a look around, breathe in the air of freedom and relief, the air of hope and opportunity- and we will never look back.
These may be the times that try our souls, but our souls are hardy. They’re up for the challenge. And this most recent test thrown at us will be passed with flying colors.
They always, somehow, miraculously are.
Because when you think about it- we are ALL miracles.
Just keep believing.