After months of hibernation It feels as if we are all emerging from our caves into the light of a bright new morning. Ever so slowly things have begun to open up and awaken. Live music, and small gatherings have formed once more. People are daring to live publicly again. The miracle of science is saving us in real time, and we are here to bear witness. The CDC says that those of us who are vaccinated can begin interacting without wearing masks.
I’m not sure that I’m ready to throw my mask into the air a la Mary Tyler Moore, but I am feeling the freedom in that possibility. Spring always signifies rebirth, but this year summer feels like a revelation. While the path ahead is far from certain, there is light shining down on us showing us that we can find a way through this. We are the survivors of a global trauma. We are the ones that have endured. What a miraculous time to be alive.
So here we all are then, ready to dive in and live our best post-pandemic lives, right? Plenty of people have already written about how they aren’t ready to be around civilized society again. I feel the opposite. This weekend I saw folks out and about without masks for the first time in months. It felt revolutionary to be able to see the bottom half of people’s faces again.
I’m through being stuck at home with piles of laundry and no foreseeable exit strategy. I want community. I’m ready for my children to play with other kids. I want my new normal. I am excited to be a part of something once more and ready for the world to show me its stuff.
So Here’s my Summer List of what I have Missed and What I am Most Looking Forward to in Post-Pandemic Life.
I deeply love to travel. Part of my overwhelming anxiety during the pandemic stemmed from the closing of our borders. Suddenly I felt trapped inside my four walls, just me and the babies most days staring at each other and avoiding CNN. But now the road beckons again. Will I be able to go anywhere exotic? New Jersey in August is on the itinerary so no, the answer is a resounding no. Still, I am excited at the possibility of going anywhere that isn’t my house. And the girls will get to see their grandparents and such, which brings me to the next thing I am most looking forward to: Family.
Many of us have been separated from our loved ones for over a year. I have close friends with families overseas in Europe who are aching to once again be reunited with their relatives. People have family members in assisted living facilities that they have not been able to visit with in many months. If fortune favors, all of these folks will be able to reunite this summer. Hopefully with much joy and hugging, something else I am deeply looking forward to. I know that not everyone is comfortable with public displays of affection, but I myself, am eagerly anticipating throwing my arms around many of my longtime friends, whether they like it or not. I’m going to make it weird. That’s how much I’ve missed people. Which brings me to the last thing I am most looking forward to in post-pandemic life, fellowship.
Some people hear the word and immediately it brings to mind religious connotations. For me it is about a community working in service with other people towards a common end. People sharing a common interest and uniting in that pursuit. I am fortunate enough to have a job each summer working at a music camp in Maine. People come from all across the country to teach music to kids for six weeks each summer. Some faculty have been there for decades. Last summer was the first that the camp didn’t operate as normal in 85 years. This year the camp is coming back, with strict COVID safety protocols in place of course. I feel so lucky to be a part of that camp community and can’t wait to greet my friends from far and wide and welcome them back to Maine.
There is much to look forward to this summer. All indications are that this June, July, August of 2021 are going to be lit (insert fire emoji here.) Do the kids still say that? I guess they will let me know in a few weeks. My arms and my heart will be open and ready for travel, family, hugs, and fellowship this summer. I hope that your adventures await as well. Strap the kids in and get going. We have a lot of living to do.