For it is not those ‘things’ that we are most yearning for. It is a return to a life that is not shadowed in worry and fear.

I went out into the garden yesterday, my camera swinging from my neck. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to capture because the garden tends to overwhelm me with its beauty these days. There is grace, tenderness and tenacity coming from that soil. I want osmosis to transfer these elements to my soul.

Sometimes I find it hard to see, really see, this beauty, my heart overtaken with the clouds, the ominous warnings of impending disaster. It feels as if I am on a ship in the middle of a storm far out in the ocean without a captain to lead us to safety.

I hear from women who tell me how they suddenly dissolve into tears over seemingly simple things, like the inability to find something or words said in a slightly unkind tone. Women whisper that they are afraid of feeling petty because they miss having their hair done, shopping for gifts, choosing their own produce. They are embarrassed that they long for something so simple in the midst of this pandemic.

When did longing for one’s routine, the ordinary ways we each live our days, with coffee in the morning, casual meals out with friends, working in an office, a day at the spa, become something to be ashamed of?

For it is not those ‘things’ that we are most yearning for. It is a return to a life that is not shadowed in worry and fear. A life that is not dark. A life that allows simple things to exist.

I have been weary of the vitriol, the judging, the shaming though I know so much of this stems from fear of the virus and an intellect that knows this administration is failing us.

People accuse and argue about masks on social media, fight over the right to leave their homes and we are forced to let our ailing family members and friends die alone in their hospital beds. We are cautioned against spending time with those we love just in case. There is anger and grief everywhere we turn. This is a natural reaction to an unnatural circumstance. We are human.

So how does one survive? How does one live in the midst of so much sorrow?

I believe we must return to looking inward. Stop feeling shame for the things we long for, stop feeling shame that we yearn for normalcy and lack of worry. Longing for simple things does not make you insensitive or simple.

Many years ago, I took a yoga class and the instructor said something that hit me hard in the heart and stayed with me all these years. She commented that only we know what our demons are and only we have the power to rise despite them.

We are human beings and these restrictions are unnatural. Of course we feel all these difficult emotions. There is no shame in the truth.