I’m working on a project I started at this time last year but had to set aside for the sake of my mental health. It’s a long work looking back at 2020 from the perspective of a retired grandmother (aka: moi). I’m revisiting blog posts, journal entries, and the like. It’s heavy work.
I’m struck by the intensity of the feelings I had early on. My recollection, dulled by the sheer length of time the weight has been bearing down on us. I think it’s important to leave a record for the sake of those who will follow us—a perspective from an ordinary person, not a news media political spun story that will sure to be told.
Last evening at the supper table we had short conversation about COVID and I was interested in, and surprised by and dismayed, by our granddaughter’s perspective. “It’s never going to go away,” she said. And I believe there’s a measure of truth in that, but it’s what she said next that troubled me.
I mentioned my work and leaving a record, and how one day she’ll tell stories to her grandchildren about these upside down years. “But, I won’t say ‘Back when I was young’,” she said. “Because it’s going to happen again.”
She predicted that maybe by 2023 life will return to a semblance of what we consider normal but that by 2050 we’d be back in this mess all over again. And I thought about the toll these past two years have taken on all generations, but especially hers because they are our future.
She’s in seventh grade and hasn’t experienced what one would consider a normal year since fourth grade. This generation’s “normal” is one that’s distinctly abnormal.
There have, of course, been other seasons of global upheaval. The World Wars come to mind for me. Generations were affected and societies changed and what was, was no longer. Somehow, this seems different. The trajectory more sinister. The pace, faster. If there was ever a time to find your true north and set a course in that direction, this is it.
So, I lean in to my faith. Not always in the way I would like, but the best way I can in any given hour. I hope. I trust. Mostly, I believe in your and my belovedness and work at looking at the world through that filter.
Yesterday, when I was looking through writing I did in 2020, I came across something that spoke to how weary I felt about the pandemic. It was written in April. It’s a good thing I didn’t know how much longer we’d be dealing with this thing and how long I would have to carry that weariness. It’s a good thing I still can’t see into the future.
I’m starting to ramble, so I’m going to wrap this up. I leave you with this: you’re not alone in your weariness. All is not as we wish it was.
Soon, it will start to get light and another day will dawn. That, alone gives me hope for today because it will happen tomorrow and tomorrow after that and soon it will happen earlier and spring fever will take hold and we’ll plant gardens and tend them and in the miracle of seeds germinating and plants growing and bearing fruit we’ll see something Divine.
This I know.
We are not alone but we are weary.
Your granddaughter’s perspective is a eye and heart opener.