2021 – some reflections…

Entering 2021, there was so much hope for a return to normalcy. To decency. To the US I always thought existed in America.

Here in December, with another wave of Covid causing concern not only across America but across the globe, it is easy to lose sight of all the good that happened in the past year. We got vaccinated (twice!) and boostered (once so far!). Who knew that getting shots could make one so excited and happy. And after a year of the human life raft called Zoom (thank you for 2020 Zoom – you kept me sane!), travel returned. Reunions happened with family, with friends. I wept at the privilege of just being in the same space, I’d missed everyone so much and we’d survived! We could hug again. Laugh together in the same room. Breathe. Make new memories in person.

But while good works were (and still are) afoot, roadblocks appeared to exist on every path. More Covid, people opposing the opportunity to protect each other and themselves, continued division, gun violence, racial injustice, losses of loved ones, losses of rights as women, as voters, absolute craziness abounded. Daily news stories inflamed our country rather informed, causing despair instead of resolve. Rough seas with waves carrying us up, then down.

But underneath it all, we went about our daily lives. In 2021, I finished a novel, worked on a third feature film regarding adoption legislation, lived half the year in the Adirondacks, returned home to Massachusetts having lost forty pounds, wrote dozens of letters to my grandchildren, finally met my youngest one (welcome Skylar!) almost a year after she was born, watched my grown sons navigate this insane world with their daily efforts and they give me such hope for the future. And I remain grateful every day for a life mate whose optimism is matched by his energy, as we hiked, canoed, kayaked and rowed our way through 2021, living, breathing, grateful for each other every dawn, appreciating every day, every meal.

How do we thank all the unknown strangers who made these gifts of 2021 possible, the scientists, the medical staff, the truck drivers and grocery store workers and pharmacists and fireman and police officers and politicians and mask-wearing kind and generous people? I have kept my nose above the surface of the water in this pandemic sea, because of so many people I don’t know and I am filled with gratitude. If not for Omicron and Delta, I would hug each one I encounter.

We lost so many people in 2021, and not just from Covid. People who mattered in my life, in my friends’ lives. As we enter this holiday season, I am thinking of them, of the loneliness of their isolated goodbyes, and am determined to be sustained by memories of them. They are candle flames in my heart.

As we move forward into another trip around the sun, resilience is key. Now is the time to stand up and speak. Don’t be shy. Write letters. Opeds. Register voters. BE ENGAGED. Action is the only way we will discover as a civilization, the better angels of our nature.

What will 2022 hold? I don’t know. But I still have hope, and a dream for what is possible. E Plurabis Unum.

This entry was posted on Saturday, December 4th, 2021 at 6:19 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.