Cautious Optimism

It’s spring, people! For me, this time of year is about new beginnings and a fresh start, much more so than January 1st. Let’s face it. For many of us, January is a cold, bitter  month, not the most inspiring time of year for trying something new or changing our ways through resolutions. January is all leafless trees and gray, slushy snow. Or ice that won’t go away because the temperature hovers around 35F during the day and plunges into the twenties and teens at night.

Yuck.

But springtime greets us so prettily here in the DMV. Cherry blossoms and redbuds and daffodils, green grass and tulips, and a hundred other flowering things that seem to sprout overnight. It’s still chilly at night, but the daytime is mild. Thunderstorms and spring peeper frogs lull us to sleep, while bird calls greet us every morning.

Absolutely glorious.

Last year, spring didn’t feel so glorious, though. We were a month into our collective hibernation – aka quarantine – that seemed to grow out of our winter hibernation like mold in a leaky shower. We were in a slight panic, and going outside amongst the mysterious and invisible COVID-19 germs was a feat of derring-do. (Remember how people washed every grocery item before putting it away or consuming it? The toilet paper and food supply problems? The utter chaos of people not knowing what to do so they did things that seem absolutely bonkers twelve months later?)

In all the chaos, spring was lost. It faded away into the heat of summer, and with its departure, the news got worse. The world got scarier. And we all wondered when it would end, while also bemoaning that it never would. Meanwhile, we fell into depression. Those of us that didn’t, baked and opened Etsy stores. A lucky few did all three. (I call it the pandemic hat trick.) Seriously, what a crazy year.

We’re thirteen months into this pandemic – if we count from March 13, 2020 or so – and the end doesn’t seem so much in sight as attainable. Here in the United States, vaccinations are going well. Things are starting to open up. Signs of hope are on the horizon, giving us cautious optimism.

So, here’s to the cautious optimists! Let’s timidly raise our half-full glasses in the hope that one day soon, we’ll be back to something that resembles normal. I wish all the best for you in these trying times, but most of all, I wish you health, safety, and good friends.

Now, go read a book!

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