Checking the weather forecast for Uxbridge this morning, I saw that we can expect rain (or snow?) every day until next Tuesday, with the exception of Saturday. The highest temperature forecast for that period will be 16C.
On top of that, I’m still wearing a winter coat, as I have been for the past seven months and we’re almost into May. Of all the things we have, collectively, been forced to forego as a result of the pandemic, the one that I miss the most is being able to sit outside on a bench or a patio and enjoy a cup of coffee. It’s been too d**med cold and windy.
As I have stated many times, I’m a voracious devourer of news but that has become something of an ordeal over the past 12 months since just about every item falls into the doom and gloom category: e.g. the Myanmar junta, the Russian military buildup on the Ukrainian border, India’s horrific COVID-19 surge, rampant police shootings in the U.S. and on and on. And the weather just won’t co-operate. Is it any wonder that I’m grouchy, moody and discombobulated? Am I alone? I think not.
What I desperately need right now – (probably what we all need right now) – is a little happy. When I say happy, I don’t mean distraction. I mean something that will lift the spirits longer than a few minutes, something that will give me a little hope that things are going to get better, something that will connect me with the world again in a positive way.
We all (most of us) rejoiced last year when we learned the COVID-19 vaccines were available, but that rejoicing was short-lived as we became aware of the delivery delays and the snail’s-pace rollout of the vaccination clinics. Many rejoiced recently when Derek Chauvin was found guilty in the death of George Floyd, but that, too, was short-lived as police continued shooting and killing Black men and women. Many were happy to see the end of the Trump presidency, but then had to face the fact that the Republican party is still hell-bent on being the party of white supremacists, racists and crazies. As I say, these things lifted the spirits, but only for a few minutes.
Even here, our spirits are lifted briefly when stores and patios are allowed to open, only to be dashed when they are closed again days later.
Obviously, what would make me and the rest of the world happy would be an end to the pandemic, an end to world hunger and an end to war. But there aren’t enough beauty pageant winners to make that happen. So I’d settle for a just a little happy. Things like open patios and open golf courses, with the weather improving. Things like hugs and handshakes and face-to-face conversations with old friends. Events I can enjoy without having to watch them on my computer. Winning the lottery.
However, the ones who really need a little happy are the children. We seniors already know life is just a vale of tears: kids shouldn’t have to face that reality in their younger years. How many birthday parties have been missed? How many haven’t played with their friends for a long time? How many are confused by new rules they don’t understand? How many are missing the warmth and embrace of their extended families? How many are just simply scared?
There are those among us who are doing their best to bring a little happiness into our lives. For example, the recent Seniors Centre Without Walls and Communi-TEA Zoom meetings provided participants with a lot of laughs and information and they were a welcome relief from the hum-drum of life as it now is. But, as the song says in The King and I, those meetings were too few and over too soon.
To end on a slightly positive note, I quote former NDP leader Jack Layton’s final words: “My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”
Well, I doubt that I’m going to change the world, but I’m going to try hard to be loving, hopeful and optimistic. Maybe that will help me find a little happy.
Tell me, am I wrong?
Want to tell Roger Varley if he’s wrong or right?
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