There will be an important moment years from now.
It will be at a gathering of some sorts: a concert of one of your favorite bands; a ceremonial worship gathering; a party with your closest friends; a crowded movie premiere thrumming with anticipation. There will be a distinct moment when time seems to slow. And in this moment, you will be flooded with absolute awe. You’ll need to take a second to really wrap your head around it. Because regardless of where you are, here’s what you’ll see:
Not a single mask.
People embracing, laughing, talking in close quarters.
Folks of every skin color who have been liberated from their systemic prisons, who can walk the streets without fear of annihilation.
Individuals who can be who they are and love who they love out loud, in public, triumphantly.
Economic distribution that allows us all to thrive and give and contribute.
Love and kindness pouring from every facet of our human essence as we all heal from a widespread, prolonged trauma.
Close your eyes and imagine it now: stepping into the daylight and breathing in the air that is now safe for everybody to breathe. Shaking hands with new friends, and cradling old ones in your arms. Congregating with other humans to collectively consume art that you all love. Accidentally reaching for the same item at the store, and laughing together rather than rearing back in fear. Watching as those sworn to protect us treat every human with the dignity and respect that they deserve. Reaching into your pocket for your phone to document something wonderful instead of something tragic. Witnessing our LGBTQ+ friends and family grow old, because their life expectancies have been extended significantly. Watching the earth make a majestic comeback and inspiring us with her resilience. Seeing yourself in each and every being you cross paths with, because we are all a part of a whole. Feel that uncanny harmony within you. Now bring it back with you to the present.
Hold onto this vision as you resume your life. Even though it is a ways down the road, the tunnel can be just as beautiful as the light at the end of it. Embrace life as it is now: virtual, yes, but also more connected than it has ever been, more diverse than it has ever been. You are a single unique component of something bigger than yourself – and we each have a duty to protect our collective being, because harm to one is harm to all. Salvation of one is salvation of all. If we can lean into the beauty of where we are now, we will be able to revel in the beauty of where we will be, having made it, together. Sit in this stillness. Listen and learn. Be patient and kind.
And when that landmark moment approaches, whether it’s one, two, or five years from now, the sacrifices we make today will make it feel exponentially more vibrant. We’ll bathe in the iridescence of what we forged while in our cocoons. The fear and idiosyncrasies of now will evaporate. And it will feel so, so exquisite – this I promise you. It will feel just like coming home.