Looking Back on Our Year of Pandemic

One year ago now, our world as we knew it turned upside down and we are all still living with the uncertainty, anxiety and sadness that a pandemic world has brought us.

Familiar places no longer feel familiar to us. Businesses are shuttered- some forever. Grabbing a pizza or meeting friends for a coffee is no longer a matter of just choosing a time to meet up . Meetings of any kind with friends and even our relatives have been reduced to as few as 5 people depending on covid statistics. Our cities are now being referred to mostly by their current colour code indicating the level of virus cases currently active.

We have, no doubt , all reached or surpassed our tolerance for Netflix movie watching and either crocheted or knitted the comparable distance to the city closest to where we live. Most certainly, we have all cleaned and decluttered until we have thrown out or donated entire wardrobes, kitchen gadgets etc. to organizations that most certainly will benefit.

Yet, in the midst of lockdowns and uncertainty around vaccines and safety in groups, there is a certain part of us deeper than any surface pandemic effects may reach. While we may not feel always that we are responding to the challenges of this past year’s outer space in the best way possible, we all are learning something about our inner space. And while we may not even want or feel a need to discuss this space with others, this space may have become a place we have perhaps become aware of for the first time or found ourselves visiting with more frequency.

In any case, if we give ourselves to responding to these visits with true discernment and awareness while our outward journey has been temporarily interrupted, we may , at least in part, be grateful that such a catastrophic event may be providing us with a gentle opportunity to tap in to our more inward journey- a place that is deeper than any sadness, hurt, wound or uncertainty that the current outside circumstances bring. It is a place that does not remove our struggles , our losses or our sadness, uncertainties or vulnerabilities, but rather may help us find the strength to respond to them in ways that may be helpful and truly meaningful.

Dag Hammarskjold, former Secretary General of the United Nations once said “ the longest journey is the journey inward.” It is the task of a lifetime and perhaps a small reason to be grateful in these difficult and trying times.

Jane Ripley,  April 07, 2021

1 comment

  1. n

    Jane….Your written words are so very true. I can’t help but feel that this virus has eyes and legs and is visiting people to whisper different things to different people…..and everyone is reacting in their own way from what is within. Some people’s anger that has been hidden away are lashing out at everything that makes them uncomfortable…some people who are withdrawn are suffering from crippling fear being unable to express themselves…some people who live in fear try to downplay or foster disbelief in all that is promoted as science….some people who’s hearts have been softened by what they see and hear live in gratitude and acceptance and do the best they can for themselves and for the good of their neighbor.

    I, for one, am eternally grateful as I am at a time of my life where staying at home is something I can do but am very mindful and pray every day for those who are finding this extremely difficult. The elderly who have no one…. the young who have to juggle between going out to work, those who have to work from home and all the while in all cases have to find child care or home schooling….for businesses that have taken such a hit…for depression that can set in….for those who have become ill with this virus. All these things are real….

    But saying all that, my whispers have been, as you say, to go inside and to find the good, to find the reverence and the sanctity of the human heart. It is there in all of us, it may just take a bit longer for some to find.
    And I am always grateful to have people like you and Norm and our classmates in my life to help guide me along the path to finding that inner core you so often talk about.


Comments are closed.