Life swirls on all about us unrelentingly. Perhaps it is the ceaseless exposure to television dramas, novels, and cinema that have us viewing our lives in a series of episodes. Events hurtle upon us – we struggle – face down the challenges, then it is over. Behind us. We move expectantly to a new chapter. But Life with Covid refuses to wrap up so neatly. In the fugue of our lives, this plague storms on as a dark, dominant theme, then gets pushed into the background as other dramas unfold and take center stage, capturing our attention. Couples unite, love triumphs, man’s inevitable inhumanity rages against our compassion…the layers of life pile on. Yet the plague keeps re-emerging, varying, but it never quite resolves. It remains one of several stubborn scowling characters, spurning all calls to exit, that we must push to the fringe of our thought. And, marvelously, we do just that!
This November 2021, I stand struck by the resiliency of the people around me. Be the gathering real or virtual, after a quick news swap of booster benefits and fears, the mood invariably shifts. Folks bubble with that verve of celebration. Hope is joyfully expressed to me constantly from masked mouths; and for the first time in too darn long, I listen to words of gratitude. Last year, I recall penning a post comparing our times with the Pilgims’ example of hopeful thanksgiving as they entered harsh winter with more than half of their numbers lost. It was meant as a plea to seek out whatever reeds of hope we each could muster. This year, I find that message as obsolete as diesel fuel for a Tesla.
With so many expectations shattered, we seem to be gathering up shiny realizations of thankfulness from the pieces. And that feeling of gratitude, I truly believe, is not limited to this man’s narrow experience. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Humankind’s unquenchable quest to celebrate with joyous thanksgiving defies circumstance, and is as innate and natural as any of our “inevitable” sins.
So this Thanksgiving, allow me to raise my glass to all of you harboring hope and gratitude. You raise our spirits as we face the next chapter, and we will pass it on.
Wishing you Every Success,
– Bart Jackson