As I read the morning newspaper, I was stuck by the number of articles detailing accommodations people have made to their lives in the wake of COVID-19. New Orleans has no Mardi Gras Parade, so some 3000 homes have been decorated to carry on the spirit and the tradition of the festival. Families are bringing elderly parents to their homes, taking them out of assisted living dwellings and hiring home health aides to help care for them – all in an effort to avoid exposing elderly relatives to the virus. Schools have become inventive and individual teaches amazingly creative finding ways to stimulate their pupils’ interests and lead their minds to horizons beyond the screen of a laptop. I thought about the ways I too had adapted. When I couldn’t visit my husband in the nursing home, I read our old travel diaries to him over the telephone. When COVID-19 took him from me, I converted half a century of memories to a book.
I thought about one of my favorite quotes in literature – a line Natasha says to Pierre in War and Peace, “You suffer, you show your wounds, but you stand.” I always took that as something of a motto to live by. No matter what life throws your way, find a way to go over or under, around or through, but move on toward your goal. So many of us have had to do that this past year and, by and large, I think we’ve done it rather well. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been challenges, days of discouragement, frustration and pain, but there have also been days of joyous success, a sense of pride and happiness with thoughts of a task accomplished, a job well done.
Today I read another newspaper article about how travel agents are trying to encourage people to think and plan for vacations once again. Oh, how I join in that thought! When will it be feasible? When will it be safe? I’ve had one vaccination and my second is coming up soon. Dare I too dream? Of course, that’s what we do. We dream, we contemplate, we act. Wisely, one hopes, but with hope itself leading us forward. It’s been a rough row to hoe in this unplowed new garden of rocky experiences, but we’ve learned and we’ve grown and we will continue to do so.