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  • Writer's pictureDiane L. Dunton

2020: The Year of Love and Loss

In the end, we are people seeking connection and love.

I have always relished time spent outdoors in my home state of Maine; arguably the most beautiful place on earth come autumn. My husband and I feel fortunate in this time of necessary social distancing to live on a lake. With so many previously enjoyed social outlets no longer safe or viable options, sitting and listening to the sound of gently moving water is literally a much-needed balm to the soul in this time of overwhelming public health, social, environmental, economic, and political challenges. There is no denying the complexity of emotions most of us are feeling right now, but one thing is clear: life, and nature, demands equilibrium. In our collective loss, pain, and despondence, it is especially critical now that we create and share as much love, laughter, and hope as we can muster. The world is not in balance.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of us to move to Plan B, not by choice but by necessity. There have been times in my life when I have had to create and accept Plan B. It has never been easy, yet simple unexpected gifts somehow come my way. Recently, as I was reflecting on people close to me facing Plan B, I walked down our stairs to the water’s edge and noticed a flash of yellow. The surface of the lake was calm, the sky peaceful. There among the rocks that line the shore lay a beautiful canary-hued rose. Where it came from remains a mystery and matters little. The simple yet striking beauty of its delicate petals juxtaposed against the harshness of the rocks was a reminder to me: Life holds beauty and ugliness, joy and sorrow, fear and courage, and so much more.

It is unlikely there are many in America who have not yet heard the social media rallying cry of 2020: #InThisTogether. The thing is, this is more than just a trending hashtag because we ARE in this together. At this moment we are all facing challenges that seem insurmountable: financial insecurity, political divisiveness, natural disasters, a pandemic. But together we are a resilient people. By seeking connection and sharing love with one another, we can experience all we are experiencing and feel all we are feeling and still reach the other side where the waters will be calm and the sun will rise again in a peaceful sky.


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