Checking in…


Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise~ Les Miserables

In my neighborhood, the children started to draw and write inspirational messages on the sidewalk for everyone to see as they go about their walks. My daughter and I went out to do our part and the quote above is the message which popped into my head.

The world has become a strange place in the last few months. I have to admit that I have taken a break from watching or reading the news because it was truly getting to me. The images, the numbers, the predictions. We are saturated with news all day, every day, and I had to check out for a bit.

I jokingly have said that I should have written a book in the last month and to be honest I already started the third book in my latest trilogy, Seeds of Discord, but for some reason I just can’t seem to focus. I think we’re all in the same boat. For those of us who are home self-isolating, we’re stuck in a daydream almost. What was once real is all but a memory and we long for the day when we can get back to our normal. To the ones who have to go to work and keep this country going, my hat is off to you, and I feel nothing but admiration for everyone in the health care industry, the cashiers and stockers in the grocery stores, the truck drivers who are working tirelessly, and those who are fighting to keep their jobs in the restaurant industry.

The other day though, I watched some videos that showed me the human spirit was still alive and well. From people in Italy singing with another from their apartments to what seemed like the entire country of Great Britain clapping for the NHS workers as they left their shift in the evening. Even here in the US, we are trying to find ways to show our appreciation to the people who are fighting to save the lives of those inflicted with this virus and I was reminded just how compassionate our society is. I see it on my neighborhood Facebook page daily. People thinking of ways to keep our kids busy and to try to lift the spirits of those in our community. Strangers offering the elderly residents to pick up groceries for them and also donating to healthcare workers who are in desperate need of supplies.

I think we can get so immersed in the bad sometimes that we forget about the innate goodness most people have in them. Yes, there will be plenty of stories of morons who are going to try to profit from this horrible time in history, but at the end of the day, I do believe we will prevail. My son said something to me tonight as we took our dog for a walk. I mentioned that I saw a map showing the decline of pollution since the pandemic and I wondered if the earth just needed a rest. He said that we should learn from this and take two weeks off every year to self-isolate, stay home, and just be with one another. Take walks, reconnect, and simply take a break from the world.

It is a scary time and I know we are all afraid and also anxious. We’re all waiting for something to happen in a sense. Each day we hold our breaths to see if the decline has started and each day we are faced with struggles as we continue to live in limbo. It’s funny because I think we all are now realizing just how much we appreciate the things we have taken for granted. Popping into the grocery store, going out for a quick bite at our favorite restaurant, having dinner with our families and friends…it’s amazing, isn’t it? Just a few short months ago if you would have told me people were scavenging for toilet paper I would have laughed and now I stalk Amazon at all hours looking for the elusive treasure.

And don’t get me started on antibacterial wipes…thanks a bunch, hoarders.

Recently, we talked about 9/11 and I thought back to that day and the weeks that followed. I watched in horror, as we all did, but do you know the images which are still ingrained in memory are not those of the devastation but the outpouring of human kindness. The way all of us banded together in a time of grief and sorrow was amazing. Strangers holding one another, covered in soot, on the city sidewalk. Our government standing together, hand and hand, on the steps of the Capitol, singing God Bless America. People of all faiths and beliefs praying together. During that time we didn’t see the color of one another, the gender of one another, or the politics of one another. We just saw each other as human beings who desperately needed solace and assurance that our world was going to be okay and that we were going to be okay. Not as an individual but as a collective group of people living through a nightmare together and all we wanted was to give each other hope.

As a writer, I know how powerful words are and I also realize how therapeutic writing can be. I suppose this was my way to express how I was feeling and to connect with those who are feeling as weird as I am right now. I’ve racked my brain to think of something to help and then I had a thought. I can help those escape their reality and get writing on my next book. I am also going to run a huge book promotion in the next few weeks for all of my books. It’s not much and honestly I have no desire to make any sort of profit, I just want to give people a chance to get lost in another world for a bit and if I can make them laugh or have any amount of enjoyment, then that will make my day.

I hope this post finds you all safe and healthy. Thank you for reading my jumbled thoughts and together we will get through this and the sun will rise again, my friends.

~Shannon

Those are the images I remember.

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