HOPE has arrived. In the Season of Light, we can finally see the light. The hospital workers in my city got their vaccinations last week. I am mesmerized by the videos of people getting their shots. I can’t stop watching it. I think my brain needs proof of HOPE. I realize that is an illogical statement. Maybe its relatable after this long span of Unbelievable. I need to see HOPE with my own eyes. And so, I keep watching.
I’ve been reticent to write about GOOD. Not because it disappeared. I fully believe that Good happens concurrently with tragedy. It’s everywhere. Good has sustained us in this chaos. But tragedy tends to steal the spotlight, and it’s hard to celebrate the Good on a random good day for me, when others are hurting so deeply. We are collectively “muddling through somehow.”
It seems as though the hurt is on a three-bucket continuum. There has been the bucket of Inconvenience: everything is harder, takes more time, and requires more planning. So many cancellations create a vast sea of time. There’s the bucket of Fear and all of its children: loneliness, sadness, depression, anxiety. And there’s the third bucket of Tragedy: loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, loss of hope.
As an immunocompromised person, I’ve spent most of my quarantine in the bucket of Fear. I don’t expect anyone to understand that anxiety; I hope they can accept it. Some of the greatest Good for me in the last nine months has been the random kindnesses that people have shown me as a result of their accepting my Fear. GOOD simply says,"whatever your limit is, I may not understand it, but when you reach your limit, I’m here to help."
The truth is we’ve all reached the limit of our patience. The sight of HOPE in the form of a vaccine this week is a glimpse of possibility: the possibility of being with those we have longed for; the possibility of traveling, of doing, of interacting. Imagine the possibility of actually making plans that don’t get cancelled?
We’re too close to the pandemic now, I think, to fully know what we will consider to have been the GOOD in this experience. I suspect it will involve slowing down, taking walks, and the realization of what we really need. The GOOD will be the tenacity and determination of the scientists who have produced our lifeline. Time will filter everything through a sieve, and we will separate the wanted and the unwanted memories.
Today is the shortest day in the longest year of our lives. The Solstice reminds us that, yes, the darkness of winter is here, but the Light will increase every day. We will grow our way, day by day, into the Spring and we will witness GOOD outshining tragedy. Hope and Possibility are going to thrive again. Living will be in the spotlight, center stage. The weary world will rejoice.
sunrise from the morning of the first vaccination...