Coming off of the pandemic years, there are certainly things that we used to take for granted that now seem almost miraculous.
I look back and remember my roommate and I celebrating Thanksgiving together, because we were both exposed to COVID-19 and didn’t want to infect our families. I remember having a small, outdoor burial as we said goodbye to my grandfather. These were difficult times for many. But we made the very best of every moment, showing the resilience of humanity, as long as we worked together to keep each other safe. We’ve shown that despite it all, we can do it.
And life goes on. My cousin recently had a little baby girl, who is a wonderful addition to the family! My sister is engaged, so we are now consumed with dress appointments and flower arrangements and making plans for that much anticipated day. Some of my best friends are also getting married, celebrating new jobs, and making exciting moves.
You don’t really realize it when it’s all happening but it’s amazing to look back and think that there was a time when we weren’t sure if we would be able to have these celebrations again. But people will continue to celebrate love and life and all the things that make it all worthwhile.
There will be burials but there will also be births.
I recently read a book that’s theme focused on the reflection of life and death. A quote that stood out to me read, “It’s not always about the things you’ve done or the mistakes you’ve made. It’s about the people, and what we’re willing to do for one another. The sacrifices we make.”
As the main character reflected on the life he lived, he realized that he was so focused on success that he didn’t treat people in his life very well. Luckily, in this fantasy novel, he had the chance to make it all right again.
It really is about the people, isn’t it?
That’s always a caveat that comes up for me when I think about the possibility of moving somewhere new and exciting. It sounds nice at the time, and it’s fun to imagine traveling to exotic lands, but I feel like I would get there and want to send my family pictures so that they could experience it along with me.
I would want to share it all with the people I love.
For what is life if not to be shared?
The people we love tether us in a world which is so often full of conflict and challenges. Now more than ever.
The pandemic brought to light a lot of selfishness in people, almost shockingly so. But it also brought to light a lot of love and sacrifice, as we realized that the decisions we made greatly affected others and even the world as a whole. How doing something that made us a little uncomfortable in the moment or for a short amount of time could ensure that life could go on.
That we would be able to once again celebrate weddings and births and all the celebrations of life. We are all connected in our desire for these moments, it is the sacramental thread that runs through us all.
As we welcome a new season, I am wishing you all the joys that life brings, and the realization that through all that we experience as humans, it goes on and we can find many reasons for gratitude—particularly in the voices and presence of those we love.
By Elizabeth Clyons
(Photo by Kristian Schott)