Like many others during the pandemic, my everyday life seemed to vanish overnight, and a new reality was established. I went from being head copywriter at the bustling corporate headquarters of an international jewelry company to working alone on my iPad at the kitchen counter.
A good day was one when we had a Zoom meeting. At least we could hear each other’s voices. But seeing everyone almost made it worse, because it was a concrete reminder of what our lives had been, and of what we had lost.
Days and weeks went on. Sales kept dropping. Jewelry and appearances seemed unimportant in our New World. But gradually, gray skies started to turn blue. One day, after hearing the first songbird of the season, I was inspired to explore my neighborhood a bit. Maybe some fresh air and exercise would rejuvenate my spirit.
After walking along for a few blocks, I turned at the corner where a stately Victorian mansion stood. There was a large side yard attached and I heard a bit of a commotion. I wasn’t sure what I was hearing — it wasn’t birds, and it wasn’t traffic. It was giggles and shrieks.
I realized it was a chorus of little voices, children playing in the sunshine. I remembered that the mansion was actually a private elementary school. In my prior life, our paths never crossed, since I left the house before school opened and came home long after it closed.
I was the only person on the street, so I waved. What happened next? A louder chorus. “Hi! Hi! Hi!”
I looked over, my soul warming at the sight of dozens of little ones, each dressed in different colors, jumping, skipping, dazzling me with their energy, exuberance, and their delight in waving at me.
Even through their masks, I could hear their joy, feel their excitement, and sense their unbridled happiness at just being alive. And they wanted to share all that with me. It was as if they knew I was in an isolation chamber, and they were bound and determined to break it down. Calling back “Hi!” I felt more connected than I had in ages.
Filled with gratitude, I marveled at how the Holy Spirit had brought me to this place, blessing me with the insight that isolation can actually be a self-imposed punishment. But it only takes one word to connect us — heart, soul, and spirit.
This is part of the series called “The Human Being Fully Alive” found here.