The crunch of sand beneath my shoes and the crash of waves always temper my worried soul bringing me peace and relaxation. As I people watch during my beach walk this morning I notice a few unfamiliar faces bobbing along the path. First glance, it seems everyone is getting ready for the holiday pounds by exercising early; however, if you look further you notice something quite different beneath the exercise facade. You notice the intricate webbing of stress, of loss, of mourning. You notice them.
All at once I am abundantly aware of sadness surrounding so many of the walkers. Tears on the verge of dripping, of gaze avoidance, of an innocent misstep while the walker glances to the ocean looking for their respite. I am reminded, once again, the holidays can bring as much sadness as they do joy. I am also reminded we are living in history during a pandemic, an illness that seems to know no polite boundaries to excuse itself from the room. This is the end of 2020 and it can not exit fast enough for many.
One thing is for sure this year will go down in history. Often said, not often meant - this truly is a year or all years. It held so much promise and hope when it started, but quickly changed course to offer a bountiful selection of unsavory moments. The human cost of illness, daily disruption, increased solitude and isolation, and a wave of human unkindness. Is that even a word - well it should be as I have seen some of the worst. On the flipside I have seen some of the most courageous moments sprinkled with the most heart felt extention of empathy. Yes, this is a year to remember. For the bad and the good.
As we shift quickly and heavily into the holiday season let us remember a few things. So many of us are experiencing life in a way we have never imagined. Many are missing their loved ones for the first time this season. Many are exhausted, tired, and overwhelmed. Food security is scarce and homelessness is at the otherside of a door. Extend a hand and a hope. If you are able, buy a meal, send a card, express your gratitude. Words may be all someone can receive during this time, let's use them carefully but abundantly. Happy Holidays may all your dreams come to you and all the goodness in the world expand to wrap you this season.