30 Nov If We Can Get Through This, We Can Get Through Anything
MY EYES SCANNED FROM bottle to bottle, row to row. Should I go Scottish, American, or Japanese?
“Ah bourbon, the cure for what ails me,” I looked to the left at the gentleman in the same position as I and gave a subtle laugh at his remark. He looked over and gave a brief nod and a crack of a smile beneath his mask.
I could notice by the way his eyes changed.
He picked up a bottle of caramel brown liquid and ambled off, content with his decision and the promise of an evening burn.
Trader Joe’s was bustling with holiday cheer; I don’t know how else to put it. Shopping carts donned evergreen wreaths and shoppers had a skip in their step. I was even the proud recipient of a witty comment in the whisky aisle.
It’s been ten months since March when the official lock-down began. Each season has felt like a period to overcome on its own — but we’ve done it, and we’ll continue to move forward.
We’ll do it by staying at peace as much as we can, going out of our way to help others who need it, and living to spread our unyielding light. While many of us are hurting, there is always a reason to be grateful.
We’re alive. We’ve made it this far. We’ve come together as communities, as nations, as a planet. We can only go up from here.
I received a note from somebody who has inspired me with encouraging words to continue on my path these past few months.
“If you can write through this time, you can write well through anything.”
Tears practically came to my eyes when I considered the weight of his words. We’ve all carried on these past ten months — if you’re like me, there have been times when you’ve wanted to give up on yourself, on your passion, on your career, on trying to maintain composure.
But we’re still here, standing tall with new horizons before us and tremendous adversity behind us.
Think about what we’ve learned as a planet and as individuals. In many ways, we’ve realized what matters in life, and we’ve fought for it.
We’ve fought for each other.
It isn’t always easy to reach out and say hello to somebody, especially through our masks. Sometimes, they’re convenient because they hide the emotion on our faces when we’d rather not talk.
The man in the whiskey aisle had no idea who I was. He didn’t know if I wanted to talk. But he cracked a joke as if life is carrying on as it always has.
That was likely something he would have said a year ago, five years ago, perhaps when he was my age. He wasn’t afraid to reach out, to live, to say hello to me in his own sly way.
We’re just two guys in the whiskey aisle. His smallest action made me think in a positive light. It’s why I’m writing this now, doing something that brings me to the present moment with joy in my heart. The comment made my day.
He let me know that there’s a living, breathing person behind that mask. The effort we make to reach out doesn’t go unnoticed, whether we receive anything in return or not. The universe takes notice.
When you feel uncomfortable walking past a stranger, I encourage you to share who you are. I’m far from perfect in this regard, but it’s something I try to work at every time I step outside.
We could all use a little extra joy right now, and you may find that it lifts your spirits more than the human being on the other side of the kind gesture. What we do to get through this time can be as simple as a smile.
But that’s what it takes. We are people who long to connect.
I’ll always be grateful for the feeling of cold outside and the scent of firewood in the air. I’ve always loved the smell of burning embers.
It makes me think about this time of year, sitting at home in a dark room around the crackling fireplace with my family.
I smile every time I see the colorful spectrum of light that can only mean Christmas, lining the homes on my street. The moon shines brightly over the mountains in the distance. Its pearlescent glow is beautiful.
The night feels like winter; a new season is upon us.