Things have been tough for the last 10 months, due to the emergence of the novel coronavirus. We’ve all been living through it, so I don’t need to elaborate with details, but signs of our COVID world were/are all around us. Some of these are literal– “Masks must be worn in this store at all times”; “No indoor seating, food available for take-out only”. Some of the signs were figurative– normally busy streets that were almost deserted during the first few weeks of our “lockdown” back in March; long lines at HEB in the morning before store opening each day, of people hoping to be one of those lucky enough to find cleaning supplies. We were all in a place where we’d never been before, and we were all scared.
I developed a routine that literally saved my sanity, I’m convinced, as I faithfully adhered to 2 practices. One day, during the first week after Spring Break, when the “lockdown” began, I felt a panic attack coming on. I felt I had to escape, so I walked out of the house, and kept walking– for an hour. I got back home tired, and calm; I started doing this same thing every other day. The second practice was a cognitive exercise. I firmly believe that even in the midst of scary, challenging times if you look hard enough, you can find signs of positivity. Most of the time I was successful– the helpful attitude of my colleagues, the upbeat cooperation of our students in adhering to wellness guidelines, tales of younger folks running errands for elderly neighbors, Zoom “coffee breaks” with my friends.
Thanksgiving week, and the week after, presented huge challenges– I missed my extended family, stress levels seemed to be building in students and teachers, concerning final exams. I was searching for some positive signs, and coming up short. Then, I went for a walk Saturday afternoon.
There had been a light rain, and clouds were still rolling around, interrupted by some sun and patches of blue sky. While taking my walk I usually don’t watch the sky very much– straight ahead and looking down are much safer for me. However, as I made the turn from Lockwood onto Lake Oaks, I happened to look up– and saw the most beautiful rainbow I think I’ve ever seen. I took it personally… perhaps too personally but, who’s to say? I felt as if God was putting it exactly where it needed to be in order to bless my day. A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders, as I realized I should not be discouraged, and keep looking for those positive signs.