I woke up today and, like most mornings when I’m at home, I looked out my kitchen windows to check out my backyard and the weather. It was still too dark for squirrels and birds in the woods behind my house. The clouds that have been so pervasive this year blocked the few stars that I can see from that vantage point under clear skies. I opened the window to get an idea of the temperature. It was cool, but what struck me most was the quiet. Not a sound to be heard beyond the ringing in my ears. It was so peaceful. With the light just starting to illuminate the clouds, the air was filled with hope and possibility.
This is not the first time this has happened. Looking out onto my backyard, I’ve begun thousands of mornings filled with hope and possibility. Today, that seems like wishful thinking. The world has changed dramatically over the last week. It will never be the same again. Sure, it will get better. I don’t mean to imply that these conditions will last forever. Kids will go back to school, restaurants will be packed, grocery stores will be fully stocked, and ESPN will air something besides reruns of basketball games from ten years ago. But I don’t think the world can go through this and come out the other side unchanged. It reminds me of the changes that occurred in the wake of 9/11. We were never the same after that. There was a new normal.
Even though we have a long way to go, I can’t help but wonder what the new normal will be in the wake of coronavirus. I think I’m already starting to see signs of it. I was at the supermarket this morning and there was only one cash register open with a long line. I only had two items and I needed to hurry to get to an appointment. I would be late if I had to wait. Surprisingly, all three customers with big orders let me go ahead of them. All with smiles on their faces. It was a triple pay-it-forward! So, maybe more unprovoked acts of kindness and compassion will come out of this. It is easy to forget how meaningful such trivial acts are to another person. Let’s remember. Oh, while we’re at it, let’s throw in a little more tolerance too!
Here is another nighttime image for your viewing pleasure. This was in my archives from my trip to Namibia last year with Marsel and Daniella. What an adventure that was! Images of mine like this are not possible without people like them. My heart goes out to them and all my other photography colleagues who earn a living on travel and adventure. I know things must be hard now, but I hope we recover soon. I know I’ll be back for more travel and adventure as soon as possible, and that is not just wishful thinking!