I understand from wise women I have known, that sometimes what looks like an unfortunate and inconvenient experience, is, in actuality, a sign of good luck. For instance, if a seagull happens to drop something on your brand new sweater, that's a good sign. Or, if you find a lemon seed in your apple pie, that's an indication that you are special. Or, if you are holding a baby and the diaper leaks, you have received a blessing. These were not easy lessons to learn as a child, but they have certainly made me into an annoying grandmother.
Responses to such occurrences, or similar ones, by the person who has had her sweater soiled, or bit down on a lemon seed, or had to change the baby AND her own clothes, is not likely to be kindly to your declaration of "Oh but that's good luck! Or a blessing!". In my long years of experience, I have found that those assurances of good luck, or blessing, are met with a grimace or a hollow laugh.
It does shift the energy a bit, though. Maybe that's the reason I heard them as a child. They are an attempt to lighten the mood, not take ourselves so seriously, not see minor inconvenience as real tragedy.
Greeting the unexpected or inconvenient is a regular part of our lives these days, in fact it may be, like change, the only certainty. Old routines are out the window, for most of us. Do we hold to any schedule and routine as we did before the pandemic? We may not even get dressed, or eat meals on our normal schedule. We might choose to leave the bed unmade, the dishes in the sink, our faces unwashed. We have been knocked sideways, upside down, and backwards too often by news that shifts like the weather, alarms like a siren, shouts at us with a kind of frantic hysteria. No wonder we feel untethered. And we are certainly not faced with minor inconvenience here. This is life and death.
Thanksgiving this year was different, for most of us. We stayed home, we stayed as safe as we could from close contact with those we love but don't share our living space. We are afraid of each other, and afraid of infecting each other with something we can't even see. It's such a hard war to fight and win, against an enemy you can't see but that can travel through the air. We will win it. We have to win it. But we will be different. This year has changed us in ways we may not even begin to understand for years to come.
Maybe, out of this different way of being in the world, we have learned something about ourselves. We might have learned how to take inventory of what we need to thrive. Some I know have found that they must have something creative to do to quench their thirsty soul. Some need more music; some need more time in nature. We are explorers in this new life we have to take up. All of it is uncharted territory.
I hope we can continue to be sturdy pioneers. Connection over the internet and even through old-fashioned cards and letters has been a lifeline for me. This year Christmas cards, holiday cards, will go out early. We can't touch each other physically, but we can connect in so many other ways. Whether we can call any of these unwanted experiences we have faced "blessings" or "opportunities", there are points of light that I can see all over this last year. More light is on the way. I'm hanging on to that. I hope you and those you love will too. And I hope you will stay safe and well.