November 19, 2020

What my Friend the Sun Promises on these Cold & Lonely Pandemic Days.

It’s a beautiful day to start life.

There is plenty of sunshine and a feeling of calmness or rather a feeling that all will be well. There is a chill in the air, which I love. I love winters: oversized sweaters, cozy shawls, never-ending coffee mugs, and early nights which gives me ample time to snuggle on the couch by the window and dream. 

As I savor the sun this morning, the first time this season, I am grinning at how much I have missed these mornings—almost like an old lover and, now, they are back—life comes full circle. Its warm embrace reminds me of the endless conversations I have with myself. I smile at the mere thought of what will happen at night under a huge blanket.

It fills my heart with joy and happiness, reliving all those yesteryears, memories etched so vividly in my mind: of this chair, the verandah, of beaming faces (some sulking ones, too, where would be the thrill otherwise), and nonstop chatter and laughter of long Sunday brunches, the smell of roses of my garden, freshly-squeezed orange juice, and shouts of kids fighting. Oh! I so love the tanginess of oranges. 

The sun reminds us to remember all the happy things because, you see, we are living in a pandemic where those brunches and family gatherings are not possible anymore. In a way, it gives me a break from all the family drama, and a much needed one at that. Hah!

On November 17th, 2020, we “celebrated” one year of COVID-19. The first case was reported in the Wuhan province of China, exactly on this very day, a year ago. Well, how time flies…

We started our first lockdown in March 2020. Since then, life has been a roller coaster, to say the least: finding ways to keep kids busy, working from home, no going out or meeting anyone beyond a Zoom call—add to life the bonus of online classes and homework. The financial troubles, the emotional stress, and just about everything has changed with this pandemic. And now, there is an urgency to return to normal.

The sun is asking me again, with slightly mischievous eyes, what normal are you referring to, darling?

It forces me to smile rather than become sad. You see, the sun and I are friends. Every morning I greet him, and he inspires me to have a wonderful day, to put my best foot forward, and to be myself.

A few years ago, I left my full-fledged dental practice. The why of that is a story for another day, but in one line: I wanted to find myself. I wanted time for myself—to find my happiness again. In a way, this pandemic provided that opportunity; but since it was forced, it was not welcome.

It reminded us all to slow down, to cherish what we already have, and to value what we did not have. 

There were happy days of board games and fun and music and dance, and there were bad days of chaos, mood swings of kids and husband, and not to forget my own yelling matches with them. It brought all of us together, better bonded. It taught us that we needed way less to be happy.  

In spite of all the problems of staying in lockdown, my friend here, shining brightly on my back and keeping me warm, is reminding me once again to be thankful for life, for ample food on the plate, a roof over my head, and a healthy family.

Today is a day of positives, of reassurances, of stolen smiles, and secret winks. 

It tells me that tomorrow will be even better, and all that I have to today is get up and show up no matter what.

To tell you the truth, I do not have a secret, magic wand; no secrets of the universe were revealed to me, and nothing extraordinary happened. I found the ordinary to be quite beautiful and fulfilling. I stopped running after what everyone had me believing I should be chasing and paid attention to what I had (however little it was).

The irony of life is that we are not aware of what is happening close to home, in our own bodies and minds, but we want to explore so much outside. Time to retune and bring consciousness back home.

I only have hard work, commitment, and a never-die attitude to help me get up each morning. And a promise to myself, a reaffirmation, that I choose to make every single morning when I greet my friend the sun: It’s a beautiful day to start life.


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