Daring to Hope for Better Days Ahead
Dr. Seuss’s book title “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” should be “Oh, the Places You Won’t Go” this year. Does it make you feel better or worse to dwell on fond memories of vacations past? I suppose you could always think of all the things you don’t (or didn’t) like about going on vacation – hotels or rentals that were disappointing, airline travel (from going through security to overcrowded planes), various minor things that went wrong, as things often do. But it’s more fun to look at the photos of things you loved on past vacations, even if you won’t be returning there any time soon.
I’m feeling glad that we visited California when we did (the Bay area south to Carmel, plus Napa in 2016, and Southern California up to San Simeon in 2017). It seems like wildfires have been raging out there this time of year ever since, becoming even more destructive than usual. We cancelled our Florida vacation in March and I was missing it at the time, but you could not pay me to visit Florida this time of year, even without hurricanes.
Then there’s Arizona (I’ve only been to the Phoenix airport long enough to change planes). How can people stand to live where the temperature rises to the teens (as in 113 and up) and it usually gets to the triple digits day after summer day? Why would you want to spend summer like a vampire, only coming out after dark for fear of the sun? Yes, it is dry heat, just like an oven. I’ll take New England.
Some people are traveling these days, but I’m not ready for that yet. Thank heavens we live in a part of the country that offers a wide variety of outdoor day trips. It’s not quite a vacation, but it is getting away from the house of bit. On one of our late afternoon trips to Horseneck Beach, a storm came up, though not suddenly. The long rumbling thunder gave everyone ample warning to scurry off the beach in an orderly fashion.
We got in the car and turned out of the parking lot just as the storm hit and the heavens opened. This was a coastal storm that we quickly drove out of, enjoying the beautiful rainbow it left behind. When we got home, we saw a deceased groundhog/woodchuck lying in the road. So much for the rainbow. It had obviously been killed instantly when hit by a car or truck and it would not be raiding anyone’s garden again. Still, I felt sorry for it and also felt that the poor creature lying belly up was some sort of metaphor for this miserable year.
September, usually one of the most beautiful months of the year, is not the same this year with all the controversy and concern about students going back to school amidst a pandemic. What difficult decisions parents, teachers, and everyone involved in education face these days. It’s so hard when there are no easy answers. My sympathies to all students too, from kindergarten through college. I’ve especially felt bad for seniors who were graduating this year, deprived of the usual rites of passage.
To counteract all the bad news everywhere you look these days, you can find numerous links to stories of hope at this difficult time just by Googling “finding hope during pandemic.” There are messages from everyone from psychologists to religious organizations to Time.com. There are too many to list here, but these various articles are worth checking out.
Messages of encouragement are very welcome when our nerves are so frayed from all the disturbing news around us. We know that these dark times won’t last forever; it just feels that way sometimes. It’s hard when you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, a tunnel that is longer than we thought.
The folks at the Blanding Library will be offering little flags for people to decorate with messages of hope. Since I’m not very artistic (and I’m all thumbs), I’m not sure how I’ll do with such a craft project. But here is my simple message: “Dare to hope for better days ahead.”