COVID, Hurricanes, Despair, and Hope:
This year has brought great tragedy for many people. The whole world suffered because of the misery wrought by COViD-19. Many lost their lives, and many lost their jobs or businesses because of the lockdown that accompanied the COVID outbreak. Police brutality and riots accompanied the horror of COVID-19; the world reeled as the videos of George Floyd’s death circulated around the world.
In the southern United States, our misery was compounded by several poundings from Mother Nature. Several hurricanes struck along the Gulf Coast. Several hit my home state, Louisiana, bringing devastation to parts of the state. Hurricane Zeta, the last of these storms, dealt a nasty blow to New Orleans, my city. Make no mistake. This storm was no Katrina, but it did level many gorgeous oaks, downed power lines, and left our homes very damp and dark. We stood outside, raking up leaves and shaking our heads perplexedly. (This was the first year since Katrina we had experienced hurricanes named after the Greek alphabet.)
November, however, is the month for gratitude. Thanksgiving is a time to count our blessings, and I realized how many blessings I have in spite of the hardships the year has brought. COVID has changed my teaching world. I now teach in a mask and sanitize desks after I deal with kids online and in the classroom. However, I still have a job and insurance; for that, I’m grateful. During the lockdown, I wasn’t alone. I had my husband with me, and he is my greatest blessing. As I said, Hurricane Zeta was no Katrina. The city did not drown. We had some wild wind; hubby and I sat on our porch, enjoying wine. We were blessed, and I pray for those who were not so lucky with the other storms that battered us. Our power was out for five days; we absconded to a lovely B & B. I wasn’t roughing it, and that brief sojourn away from our cold, powerless house brought me many blessings. I spent valuable time with my husband and did a great deal of writing. Hubby and I spent time walking in Audubon Park, watching turtles in a pond. I also made substantial progress on one of my WIPs, the third in the series that started with From Ice Wagon to Club House.
The tumult wrought by this year has left its mark on all of us. Many of us have lost people we love this year. For all of us, our way of life is perhaps irrevocably changed, but this year also has challenged us. It has forced us to adapt. It has forced us to look at ourselves as we ever have. We have experienced division; we have experienced unity. It is for us to grasp this time—to seize opportunity, to give, and to grow—and to make the world better for those we love and for ourselves. This is the month for gratitude. Let’s seize the promise of this time.