It is hard to believe that we are halfway through summer as July comes to a close and we welcome August, almost 6 months into the pandemic. Summer is very peculiar this year. The sun is still the same, the hot weather is beautiful, the desire for cold drinks and cool clothes dominate each day, the BBQs are fired every evening. There are sounds of children at play in the neighborhood, bikes riding by, dogs barking at the park. It’s as though we can convince ourselves that it is almost the same but in reality, it couldn’t be more different.
On a drive past a local baseball park the other day, I was struck by the absolute silence in a space that would normally have had energetic little league baseball teams crowding the field, playing endless ball games in 2 baseball diamonds, parents and friends and spectators huddled on the bleachers. There would be bags of chips and peanuts, coolers full of iced drinks, picnics, the sound of the baseball cracking on a bat, children laughing and screaming as they played tag on the sidelines, cheers or groans from the fans. I looked at that space long enough to hear the echoes of those summer afternoons but when I blinked my eyes, all I could see were the weeds in the outfield.
Six months ago the thought that we would all still be sheltering and working from home or shopping with masks on or gathering in small groups to avoid the spread of a killer virus would never have settled in my mind. It is the stuff of science fiction although right now it is only science fact. There is no cure, there is no stopping its deadly journey through the human race, and sometimes after hearing false information and lies there feels like there is no hope.
This crisis appears to be a rather drastic but simple request from Mother Earth; come together. Work together for the common good. This virus doesn’t know age or gender or skin color or religion or ability or economic status or citizenship of any country. It doesn’t care. Like the scariest of all creatures in science fiction, all it needs is a willing host. Sadly that’s exactly what it is finding. Very willing hosts who deny its power or its presence and carelessly flaunt any critical advice that may save us all. Instead, that advice has been presented as a threat to our freedom and free will. If I can save my own life solely on the whim and desire of my free will then I would consider that freedom indeed. Anyone else who has endured a severe, intense treatment for a life-threatening disease must surely feel the same. My free will wears a mask.
What has happened? How did we get so mistrustful of each other, of the evidence that is in front of us? How did we all get so suspicious of the scientists we have trusted so fully in the past? How are we at this point when the most brilliant of minds on planet earth can’t seem to stop it or find a cure? John Lennon and Paul McCartney tried to tell us so many years ago when they implored us to Come Together. Life as we know it has changed forever and I am still trying to decide if that is a bad thing or a good thing. The other evening during our nightly happy hour on our back deck, my husband commented on how blue the sky looked, how many birds flocked into the yard, how clear the air seemed. All because human activity has been slowed down to almost nothing. It’s sad to realize that for the earth to heal and regenerate, humans need to minimize their daily activities. Living in harmony has become a failed experiment.
Is it too late for us? Never. I can never allow myself to believe that no matter how dire. Every night this week, the booming from the nearby army base and the military craft flying overhead reminds me that we have a choice to make; war or peace? Both are on the horizon waiting for us to decide. In my mind we can never give up hope for peace and harmony…and a cure. To believe that there will be summer days ahead of us to gather once more at the baseball fields and cheer our kids on, that we will gather with our friends at restaurants or at the beach. That we will be able to safely fly to see loved ones who live far away from us whom we have only seen on Zoom these past months. I will not let my faith in the goodness and intelligence of the human race fall into those weeds growing in the outfield. I second Mother Nature’s plea for us to come together. What this virus has done inadvertently is to show us what is truly important in our lives. What things have meaning. What gives us hope and purpose. Our free will does have power. Let’s come together. #wearamask