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Worth the weight...

Updated: Feb 26, 2021

I took a little walk this week during one of those warm-ish afternoons, hoping the absence of freezing cold air would lift me up. Instead, however, all I noticed was how absolutely grey everything is right now.

The dirty snow. The giant puddles. The broken sidewalks and cracked streets. My Christmas decorations got stuck in the snow – they’ve been buried for months – I’ve never let that happen before. And it’s still only February. Instead of feeling uplifted, I felt weighted down - everywhere I looked I saw evidence that WE are BURRIED under the weight of a long Winter.

And even after the thaw, there will be So Much Mud. Tire tracks along the driveway aprons and curbs where we damaged what we couldn’t see beneath the snow. And dog owners (like me) know what’s waiting under the snow…oh yes…you know it’s there waiting for the thaw too, even if you think you’ve stayed on top of it!

But…then…after all of THAT…then it’s over, right? There will be a day when the snow is gone, the puddles have washed away, the mud will dry up, the Christmas decorations can be safely put away, and THEN…we’ll see color again and I can plant my garden, and breath in fresh air. Right? Please say it is so.

Because I really need it to be so.

With each week of my Winter Session ticking by, I’m getting closer and closer to the one year anniversary of my last in person class. Let’s face it…it’ll be the “one year anniversary” of a lot of things: 1 year since my kids went to school in person. 1 year since my husband worked outside of the home. 1 year since we were inside another person’s house for a party. 1 year since we started wearing masks and hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer. 1 year since I started worrying and haven’t stopped worrying about my parents’ health and the health of so many people I love. 1 year ago, there were 500,000 Americans who would most likely still be here today.

That’s a lot.

But…in a strange way, the hook – the anchor of all this for me - seems to catch on the very last day I taught at Kingo Lutheran Church. I had just completed the last class in the 8th week of my Winter Session. I sanitized the play-along instruments, packed up my supplies and stored them in my bin in the basement. I locked up the church and raced to pick up Dylan Ray from school. That was it.

I think I’ve been feeling down lately because as this anniversary approaches, I don’t feel much closer to being back to “normal” than we were a year ago. Singing is still deemed a “super spreading” activity. The general public does not have access to a vaccine yet – and even when it is available, many people do not feel comfortable getting it.

When I think about how, one year ago, I started offering make-up classes on Facebook Live…and what “Music Together Online” has evolved into over the past year, I can’t help but feel proud, joyful, and simply overwhelmed with gratitude. And I could write a dissertation on the immeasurable and unexpected POSITIVE outcomes that have emerged as a result of Music Together Online. I am forever changed by this experience of solidarity and connectivity I have shared with my online families over the past year.

CHANGED. Forever.


Is it OK for me to say…I really miss my circle? Does it diminish my gratitude for what I HAVE been able to do if I admit that I miss what I CANNOT do? I miss the snuggles and laughter and dancing together. I miss the chit chat before and after class. I miss teaching 10 classes a week. I miss my grandfriends at the Milwaukee Catholic Home. And beyond Music Together North Shore - I miss my preschool friends at Community Preschool. I miss my Children’s Choir at Three Holy Women parish. I miss being physically integrated with my community. I miss having this…thing…that was mine…that was separate from being a mom and a wife. Is it OK that sometimes I'm tired of trying to look at the positives and instead, just want this part to be over already???

All I see is the dirty snow and I want to just know:
When can I start hoping?

After venting to a good friend, she reminded me: There IS a vaccine. We have come farther than we were a year ago. While there isn’t an endpoint to this pandemic, there are solutions at hand. We just need some more time. More waiting…but waiting now to get vaccinated. Waiting to see if it’s all going to work. Waiting with an eye towards “Soon…maybe.”

SO…I guess my walk through the grey streets of Whitefish Bay gave me a good visual (my brain works better when it has a visual).

We are buried under the “weight” of the snow…which means more “waiting.”

It gave me a bit of clarity in the solid reality that we’re still not over it…but that there will be an end. We just can’t see it yet. It’s buried, deep in the dirty snow, but…it’s there, waiting for the light. And it's all worth the wait (and the weight).

Excuse me while I take all the deep breaths and try to focus on the positive…again…for another month, or two, or three or more.

Thank you for making the weight of it all so much lighter.

Thank you for waiting it out with me.

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