It’s been almost two years since we heard the first reports of a virus that raised concerns. Now there are new fears as we slog through the Delta variant and look ahead to the unknown Omicron variant. For our young children, it must feel normal to see people wearing masks, keeping distant and listening to adults discuss concerns and argue over whether mandates are warranted or if experts can be trusted. But humans need joy and humor and love and hope, especially now, when it seems harder to come by.
While going through a very difficult time, I discovered a way to stop the loop of anger, hurt, and frustration rolling through my brain on repeat. I went outside and walked no matter what the weather or how I was feeling. At first it required a self-pep talk to put on my shoes and open the door. I plugged in my music (cassette if you want a timestamp), altering my path through my neighborhood and expanding the distance a bit further with each excursion. Then a day came when a crocus, reaching toward the sun caught my eye. I smiled knowing spring was showing its face. When I walked through town and a neighbor honked, I waved and smiled. Walking past the school playground listening to children playing was a tonic. I began to look for those pinpricks of wonder every single day. I was seeing the world again outside the hurt and anger that remained. Those tiny gifts gave me hope, and I knew it was going to be okay, not the same, but still okay.
It’s a habit now, taking a moment to savor the unexpected, how the angle of light changes a landscape, the first arrival of a hummingbird, hearing the neighbor’s grandkids playing king of the hill or just walking outside and seeing the stars overhead. Those little things are not so little. Each is a gift, there for savoring, ready to play the melody that makes our hearts sing. Gifts that appear even during a pandemic that shows no sign of ending soon if only we open our hearts to them.
This Christmas we plan to be with family, that is gift enough. Enough to make my heart sing, no packages under the tree required, those are easily forgotten. I want the gift of a song in my heart, and maybe a few photos to remember the day.
My wish to each of you for the New Year is peace, joy, hope, love and all the little things that make your heart sing. Your outreach, comments, encouragement to Marie, Carrie, Nancy & Geoffrey and me, provides hope and keeps us going. Pend Oreille County is better because of your engagement.
Thank you, and stay well,
Kat Schutte, Chair
Pend Oreille County Democrats
P.S. There will be no meeting in December. Mark your calendars for our January 12th meeting when Ann Marie Danimus will speak about her campaign for the seat currently held by Cathy McMorris Rodgers.