So much has changed in all of our lives since the beginning of the pandemic, and still continues to change. I believe most of us have truly struggled to find a new “normal” that resembles what the old one was, and Shannon’s lyrics are so true: all that came before has died. One of the biggest challenges is that our new “normal” has not only slowed down but is barely moving. Standing on the precipice usually gives us a view of what is to come, but the sky is still too heavy with clouds to do so.
I have often walked my path in life, aware of the scenery, occasionally noticing different aspects, but never really slowing down to appreciate them. The pandemic has forced all of us to take inventory of our journeys and in a painfully slow pace. Believing that we had control of the speed at which we traveled, and the realization that we merely chose the direction of our feet, was a hard truth to accept. The saying is true that you don’t know what you got until it’s gone. It’s a deafening echo that I fail to block out.
I didn’t realize how big the little details were that were keeping the “merry-go-round ” moving. I have missed being in the presence of my friends and family. Just sitting in a room together, without even needing to say any words. I long to feel someone’s hand squeeze mine, a reminder that we exist and not just virtually. I didn’t realize the physical and emotional importance of human touch until it became unsafe. Affection was lacking for a good part of my life. In the last 10 years , affection has become a necessity. Isolating because you want to be alone is so different than having to isolate because it’s to keep you safe. Affection has been replaced with distancing; in keeping ourselves safe, we are left standing on cliffs, dreaming of the day that the divide can safely close.
We are so blessed to have the technology to keep us in touch with one another, to help us from slipping, to encourage one another to keep our arms open wide, reminding each other, no matter how despairing things look, we will survive.