Maybe it’s time to take a look at the bright side—those little perks that deliver a warm and fuzzy tug to the heart despite pandemic woes. That first cup of coffee in the morning, sunbeams dancing in the rising light, a silenced snooze alarm on a snowy day.
If we look closely enough, there are dozens of these unexpected snippets that make us sit up and take notice: the smell of pizza warming in the oven, a good book that we can’t put down, the lingering strains of a favorite song. Just little things but touches of normalcy in a chaotic world. In addition, we live with one another in a community of faith. Never do we have to go it alone on a cold winter evening, bear our sorrow in secret, or suffer pain in silence. That choice is ours to make. We can always find someone to share our thoughts, laugh at a joke, or discuss the nightly news.
The point is, we have far more reasons for optimism than we do for pandemic depression. In her book Two Dogs and A Parrot, Joan Chittister O.S.B. stresses our need to become conscious of the goodness of life and learn to enjoy just being alive. This, she concludes, “requires giving ourselves over to the randomness of the uncontainable.” Not easy, but possible if we are willing to “snap the bonds that constrain us.”
Today, as the world teeters haplessly amid global distress, pandemic uncertainty, and threats of war, let’s stop and take a long hard look at the everyday gifts that surround us. We live in a free country. We are safe, well-fed, have heat, and medical help available. We are blessed with surroundings that uplift and beautify. By keeping all this in mind we will be able to move beyond anything that prevents us from looking on the bright side where God in His goodness shines upon us.