I’m trying so hard to focus on one thing that’s worth writing about today but the truth is that I woke up overwhelmed. There are plenty of local stories worth writing about today. My heart simply isn’t in it.
Yesterday my college-aged daughter was able to get a free home testing kit for COVID-19 from the Health Department and subsequently tested negative. I was deliriously happy for about two hours until the weight of all the continuing news of the omicron variant began to crush me. Word that treatment with monoclonal antibodies is no longer effective has pretty much wiped out any feeling of security I might have had in case I become ill.
A long standing Christmas Eve event will be canceled again this year. So far church is still in person but I feel much less safe about going. And what about celebrating with the members of our family who don’t live with us? What should we do?
My husband, who is a teacher, knows he is very likely being exposed to COVID daily and it is wearing on him. He keeps masking, keeps being careful, keeps teaching. All our teachers are crawling toward the Winter Break. All the while they are trying to make and maintain a safe and positive world for their students.
I guess I should try to do the same, make and maintain a safe and positive world in my own home as we prepare for Christmas. There is a tree to be decorated and presents to be wrapped. Holiday meals to shop for. I’m halfway through writing holiday cards.
But I feel stuck.
Why write this? Mostly because I have a commitment to write every day. And because I sense that I am not alone. If you are feeling like this I want you to know I’m right there with you. (But distanced.) There must be some innate goodness in helping each other stumble along, even if separated by physical distance. Right now that's about all I’ve got.
The truth is that a year ago I was desperately ill with severe asthma and now I am not. This has been a year of healing and recovery for me. I have so much to be grateful for. I should be celebrating. Right now I clearly need something to jump start my gratitude.
Yesterday was the Winter Soltice. We know that now, each day, there will be a little more light. Warmth will return, Spring will come again. There will be light. But, for now, there is darkness. And there’s me, like Lucy, struggling with the reality of it.