The turning time

Or: How to survive a pandemic in the darkest months of the year.

Raise your hand if you knew, a year ago, what a tough 2020 this would be. Now, as we enter the sunset days of the year, who’s not ready to bid 2020 goodbye?

But wait. In Montana we know that sometimes the sunset can be the most glorious moment of the day, and sunsets are always most passionate in the depths of winter. The long slow descent of light from the sky, bringing whatever darkness it delivers, also gives us this: miracles in light.

Our darkness is coming. Covid numbers defy comprehension, the suffering is immense, and almost everyone you know is under strain. We can’t even hug each other.

And yet.

We are also witnessing miracles of compassion, great acts of courage, moments of grace. You are delivering food, protecting battered women, building houses for struggling families, singing outside nursing homes, teaching math from your bedrooms. Most of you, in your own way, are speaking back a miracle of color to this darkness.

Think about that. Think about how well we are doing, even when things are rotten. We are all doing the good work, witnessing acts of creativity and goodness all around us. Let’s celebrate that for a moment, and gain strength from the grace that abides in our midst, unbidden and unbound.

“Be a struck match,” my brother Steve wrote in a poem once. Be a cloud, aflame with light. Thank you for enduring.

With love, from The Myrna Loy.

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