Will we ever experience the “normal” we knew
Impossible to know.
But, really – how much joy we are finding in the
small things, things like actual salt and pepper shakers in the restaurant,
instead of those ridiculous tiny packets that scatter everywhere when torn
We’re getting outside more. Enjoying nature.
Stubborn Northerners, we are waiting out the lingering chill in May, certain
that flip flop weather will finally return.
Making plans, feeling hopeful.
Alongside this buoyant feeling we have little
remnants of dread, torn bits of anguish hovering in our peripheral vision.
“It’s complex,” a co worker remarked. “We want to
believe we can step out, but there’s that little bit of hesitation.”
With every heartbeat there is a silent pulse of
Another friend commented on an image of the heart, much like the one in this piece. She remarked, “It makes me think of all the ways our hearts are
impacted, for good or for bad. And in this you see the scars, and the signs of
We are seeing and hearing and tasting bright ribbons
of optimism. Yet some days, all we can taste of life is what isn’t here anymore.
That’s a longing, a vague hankering for something we can’t even identify.
The heart is a
One of my favorite authors, “Anonymous”, describes how the channels of the heart are formed:
“Sorrow with his pick mines the heart, but he is a
cunning workman. He deepens the channels whereby happiness may enter, and he
hollows out new chambers for joy to abide in when he is gone.”
Could it be? Could we actually be carriers of a deeper
capacity for joy, now that we are slowly emerging from a global
Is it possible? Is it imaginable that we are
organically vaccinated against anguish? Are we building immunities against
Let’s hope so.
When humans experience loss together, a new
passageway is formed. It’s an alternative path toward repair, and it is made of
the bone and sinew of sheer will, a spark of unmatched creativity and the kind
of humor that has the guts to show up in the dark.
There is uncertainty, sure – clouds roll in, people
die, the phone rings and resets your heartbeat forever.
Yet in the scrambled, confusing network of pain and
joy mingled, there are markers of growth. There are signs of achievement.
There are strong sutures of binding up, of healing.
I’d never before considered
a weapon. It’s our first line of defense, portable and accessible whenever
darkness dares sneak in sideways.
Proverbs 17:22, The Message "A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired."
We, like the heart, form a complicated and irregular
network of pathways and mysterious chambers.
If we stop to learn about each other, we will see
the scars, the signs of growth, the purpose and the destination.
That’s the kind of “normal” I hope we are moving
toward, arm-in-arm and mindfully matching our strides to each other’s.
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