WE HAVE MADE our way back to the mountains, and getting to rest my eyes against these ancient Appalachians is the balm I need, standing, like we are, at the end of this hateful COVID year.
It has been a long, slow, painful slog—GOOD LORD BUT IT HAS BEEN A SLOG—and that’s putting it kindly. People have suffered so much. I think of the friends who have lost loved ones; others who have experienced tragedies of different sorts, their pain magnified by the insane complications of a virus with havoc on its mind. I think about the healthcare workers and first responders and their sacrifice; the business owners/managers who have fought to figure it out; the ministers and teachers who have shown up and shown up and shown up. And on and on. And on and on. So many people who have given so much so that we, as families and communities and as a people, did not collapse.
I, TOO, had my own situation, albeit one that scales as insignificant in comparison. In early December, after months of rather disciplined isolation*, I tested positive for COVID. My symptoms were mild, praise be for that, but in the couple of days before I knew I was a carrier, I celebrated my most excellent COVID behavior* by loosening up and seeing a minuscule number of loved ones. We were just back from a month by ourselves in the mountains. We had regretted every Christmas gathering invitation. Surely it would be fine to see a handful of dear friends, one or two at a time, in our own home. Little did I know I was carrying COVID, and of course that’s exactly how that devil virus works. It worms its way in and around and through as you carry on with your life, giddily happy to be with people you love, totally blind to the risk.
I will never get over it, may I just tell you that? I will never forget the feeling of exposing someone, of calling to tell them, of praying night and day their results would come back negative. Of knowing, for them, the consequences could prove more substantial. Of already understanding their stakes were higher.
I WISH I COULD SAY all the fretting was for naught, that no one I was with ever contracted the virus or ever felt sick. But that’s not the case. And because COVID plays by rules of its own (that seem to be constantly changing), it did turn out that my husband—from whom I did exactly no social distancing—did not contract the virus.
What I can say is that I am happy to see 2020 go, that I am encouraged for 2021, that there is a vaccine and renewed hope and we are planning a wedding! I can say I woke up this morning in the dark, with a prayer in my heart, and as I pondered these things the mountains and the sky and the clouds and the sun offered this.
I do believe it is a benediction, and to that I joyfully say AMEN.
~ XXOO ~
30 Days of Joy