During these unprecedented times when so much of our world seems to have been upended, I keep looking for those things that have remained constant.
Are there parts of my life that are unaltered or at least remain recognizable?
I find that the answer or the emotional and intellectual response that erupts inside my head causes me great consternation.
When I think back to how my life has been altered, I find myself counting out a whole lot of changed situations and very few same as usual.
My communication with my grandson Max, has to be through Skype, because he’s in D.C. Yes, we get to wave and talk each week, but I really would like to give him a hug and be able to spend more than just a short time with him. I keep wondering whether he really knows me as a person or just as an image on the computer screen.
I haven’t seen Matt or Diana who live with Max since December.
I wanted to invite some friends and family to visit me at my new home after I settled in, but I was only able to invite my nieces and nephews for a Sunday visit before the quarantine took over. I try to keep the place in good condition but I find myself, from time to time, asking why bother, since it’s just me and Zoey.
My social activities are all Zoom-focused and while I’m finding some upside to these virtual gatherings, I do miss the in-person interaction with others during a discussion on an issue.
I sorely miss the lack of opportunities to enjoy live concerts and other theatrical performances.
I’m always so appreciative of those performances where everyone’s role needs to be coordinated and synchronized in order to present the concert. Online, all of those heads, connected to each other with ear plugs, singing alone, but becoming part of an ensemble is pretty amazing, but it doesn’t come close to being in the room where it’s happening.
There’s something to be said for the streamed church services — while I enjoy being so close to the celebrant and feeling really connected in a very personal way to the service, I do miss the communal aspect of sitting in the church with others sharing the experience.
So many friends have experienced personal losses and I have felt deprived of opportunities to offer my support in a direct way. When my last sibling died in March, my family could only gather for a masked and distanced service at the cemetery, something very far removed from the friend-filled service we would have preferred. I think back to all of the wonderful friends who came to Angela’s service to honor her and to offer us support as well. How much less meaningful it would have been without that opportunity to gather together.
But, I keep reminding myself that some of nature’s beauty remains for us to appreciate and enjoy. I’m going to really try to concentrate on the changing foliage and the spectacular autumn palette that usually captivated me.
I need to look for those opportunities to appreciate the beauty around me without focusing on how all of our circumstances have changed. More of those amazing sunrises and sunsets seem to be appearing in social media posts as we all try to find those things around us that can be uplifting.
I’m also trying to spend more time listening to music. I’m always asking Alexa to find a particular piece of music, or simply enjoying the pieces that my favorite public radio station offers. The music, I find, has a really southing effect on me even if I’m not paying rapt attention to what’s being performed.
So what’s the answer to my question? Well, yes, so much of our lives has changed and given us reason to be anxious, but so much of the world around us is still filled with beauty. Opportunities to be edified are still there for us to take advantage of.