Renew and Repair
It’s a beautiful spring evening. A gentle breeze is pushing out memories of winter (or so I hope). Children are enjoying the simple pleasures of quality time at the playground across the street. It’s nice, really.
I’m not outside, though. I’m sitting here at my unofficial workstation, the dining room table, blankly staring at my computer screen. “What should I write about for my Editor’s Note?” I ask my 6-year-old daughter. “I don’t know … COVID,” she shrugs. And just like that, I’m reminded that April is in fact “the cruelest month.”
When T.S. Eliot wrote his famous poem, “The Waste Land,” he described the world’s difficult rebirth in the wake of World War I. His generation was devastated by wartime casualties and deaths from the 1918 influenza pandemic. Through his words and carefully chosen metaphors, the poet tried to make sense of the loss. In doing so, Eliot addressed the internal conflict of entering a season typically associated with renewed promise, while reflecting on pain.
Many of us find ourselves in a similar state. Nature is healing right now—we are, too. So, what does that mean for those of us who learned to live apart? As vaccine rollout continues to inspire optimism, the prospect of truly living again is both exciting and nerve-wracking. I look forward to hugging loved ones and even bumping into acquaintances I’d normally avoid in a store. On the other hand, I’ll have to relearn certain social skills and remember that there’s no microphone to mute or camera to block when I need a break.
Quite frankly, I don’t know how to live in a post-pandemic world. I do know I’m up for figuring it out, along with the rest of you.
The sun has since set. I can hear the white noise of cars driving nearby. I’m going to trade this monitor in for the familiar comforts of a television screen before tomorrow arrives and we wrap up this magazine issue, only to begin again. And just like that, I’m reminded that April is in fact kind.