Covid Reflections (May 2022)
Hope is the thing with feathers,
that perches in the soul,
and sings the tune without the words
And never stops, at all.
~ Emily Dickinson
I have never been one to watch the news very much. And so, on March 17, 2020, when we received an email at work stating that “if you are not feeling well, go home” I was a bit surprised. I went into my manager’s office and asked, “Do I really have to go home?”
“I don’t know how you feel,” she said.
“Well, I don’t feel great,” I replied.
“Then go home.”
There was nothing seriously wrong with me … I was just feeling a little run down. But I did what I was told, and I went home. The next day, I was back at work, but not for long. We received another email, stating that we were all to go home, and would be working from home until further notice. It was then that I learned about Covid.
I never would have guessed that we’d still be dealing with this more than two years later. I, and many others, thought March Break 2020 might be extended, to keep the kids out of school, but then everything would go back to normal.
And here we are … As I write this, it is two years and one month to the day, since I was sent home, and the world changed. It hasn’t been easy, by any stretch of the imagination. Because I live alone, I found it especially difficult not being able to socialize with people, and having no one to talk to except by phone or over zoom. The most difficult challenge for me, though, was having to come face to face with those thoughts and feelings that I had stuffed deep inside. But when you’re alone, with no distractions, you eventually realize you have no choice but to face those things you tried so hard to avoid.
In retrospect, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. As Brené Brown says, “Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” I carried that lesson with me, through the isolation that Covid forced upon us all.
I confronted fear, anger, and hopelessness, just as so many others did. As a publisher, I found it fascinating how many people approached me about publishing a book during the last two years .. and especially how many people were interested in publishing poetry. I firmly believe that people need to tell their stories, to express themselves, to be heard. Especially during the times like we have just been through.
My second grandchild was born during Covid (funny, isn’t it, how we refer to Covid as a period of time now?). I have a photo of my daughter wearing a mask while holding her newborn baby. What a story she will have to tell my granddaughter, about the day she was born! I published a book of stories written by mothers who gave birth during the last two years. Amazing, sad, yet full of hope too, I think.
A few weeks ago, I noticed a mourning dove sitting in a planter on my front porch. I didn’t think too much about it (other than how beautiful the dove was) until I noticed, a week or so later, two eggs lying in a nest in the planter. I was excited, full of hope, waiting to see those eggs hatch. I have numerous bird feeders in both my front and back yards. Birds are such a blessing to me.
I became more and more concerned when the mother dove did not return to the nest. One day, after the unexpected cold and snow we experienced a week or so ago, I saw that the eggs had frozen and cracked. Yesterday, I watched a dove walking along my front pathway, close to that nest. I choose to believe it was the mother, longing for her babies.
“Life is difficult,” said Scott Peck. Yes, it is. And it has been especially difficult during the last two years. But we must hold on to hope. We all will continue living post-Covid … perhaps with a new perspective and new values, which is not a bad thing at all. The mother dove will no doubt lay more eggs, and have more babies. And hope will live on.