What to say when the suffering won’t cease, the sun disappears, quarantine turns into evacuation, loved ones who are too young to die do, and houses burn to the ground? I haven’t written in over a month because what can I say? These are examples from close loved ones, people I know and love and, though that shouldn’t matter, they have shaken me from the numbness of months of horrifying news stories, one after another, about strangers; also humans, also neighbors, also loved by so many.
I normally find comfort in the idea that this too shall pass; the fun, the grief, the awesome, the mundane. That phrase has helped me to get through the dark and to appreciate the good, as it is happening, understanding that it will shift and change, change being the one inevitable. But, into what? Somewhere in that aforementioned numbness was the idea that things would eventually go back to “normal” and I just had to wait it out. I knew normal wasn’t working for many, it was not sustainable, and that things had to change, I just thought it was farther down the road. I thought I could believe that and know that and continue on my merry way.
Those days are over.
How to find the beauty in the chaos? How to appreciate where we are instead of wishing it were different? How to completely reimagine the world we are becoming and use hope rather than fear as our north star? It is hard! A series of tiny steps on my end. Tiny little itty bitty baby steps. Every day.
A freak winter storm just blew through New Mexico and left the air clear and cool. Though another reminder of climate change, I am grateful for the relief from 98 degree days. I went for a walk this morning. Albuquerque, a city I so frequently defend and which gets a bad rap nationally, looked so pretty. Cactus about to bloom, a mural around the corner that is finally complete, and sunflowers poking over adobe walls. I felt almost guilty to be on such a beautiful walk.
Over the years when I learned about horrible events in history (pandemics, wars, depressions), I always pictured those times in stark black and white, like the textbook photos I’d seen. It never occurred to me that the horror wasn’t constant and that people still ate dinner, slept, laughed, and lived their lives as best they could, in color. Sunflowers still bloomed. It is only now that I realize in the midst of crazy and hardship, life continues on. Forward.
I want to think that we will look back on these days, on 2020, the way we look back on so many other difficult times but, I don’t know. Is this just the beginning? Will we look back and realize how good we had it, even now? This present moment too shall pass, with all of its beauty, color, and pain. That I know.