“I feel like I’m in the woods between the worlds” reflected a friend of mine a few months ago. She was referencing her up-coming move. It was an easy concept to relate to. Haven’t most of us moved and dealt with all the upheaval of boxes and changes of addresses and tearful we’ll-stay-in-touches? However, as we chewed over her words further, it soon became apparent that this concept encompasses more than we originally thought. After a year and a half enmeshed in a global pandemic, does this phrase not apply to us all? Here we are in the summer of 2021 basically standing in the woods between the worlds. After months of captivity to the Covid 19 virus, many countries are starting the process of opening up. Here in Canada, a slow-to-start but ultimately robust vaccination campaign is heralding new hope for the future. And we are standing at the threshold between our past lives and new ways of being. As hard as this pandemic has been and through all the losses that most of us have endured, there has also emerged the Gift of Renewal. We have the opportunity to step out into a renewed life – into a new world. The question is, what will this new world look like? Ultimately I believe a lot depends on our choices and attitude. I want to embrace the future with a positive mindset.
Don’t get me wrong. I loved my pre-pandemic life. There was so much to see and do and learn and build! I do have to admit, though, there was a sense of life going faster and faster and faster each year. Society seemed impatient and “instant” became the order of the day. Although the screeching halt of the initial lock down was shocking, it was not all bad. It came with the removal of distractions which has afforded many of us time to contemplate on what is really necessary to our lives. What things truly enrich our days? What is best left in the past?
My youngest daughter decided to settle down and get married this past June. We were still in the latest lockdown which meant this wedding was to be basic. The venue was outside at her new Mother in Law’s ranch. The dress was obtained by curb side pick up from a local shop (I’m still giving silent thanks that it fit so well). Food was simple and delivered from the couple’s favourite coffee bistro. And guests were limited to close family and a couple of friends totalling 10 of us. It was a very simple wedding, but it was also everything the bride and groom wanted. They are now a little over a month into married life and it’s exactly the same as if they had a larger wedding with all the trappings. There is a lot to be said for adopting a simpler path in life and the pandemic has offered opportunities to see this concept played out in different ways.
In the coming days of re-emergence into this post 2020 world, I want to carefully consider what my new life will look like. I reflect on how my friend prepared for her move. She used this time to declutter. Some things were packed and others were let go of. Likewise, in the days to come there will be parts of my life that will accompany me on this life-journey. And, with love and gratitude, there will be things to let go of. My friend shares photos and stories of her new home and community. She is blossoming in it all. Like she has, I hope to build new things in the future and am excited to move forward in faith and joy.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11)
(For more on “the woods between the worlds” check out the book The Magician’s Nephew by C.S Lewis)