Although still in the midst of a global pandemic, as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I can't help but feel my mindset shifting from what was taken to what we have collectively gained. In the unasked for space, in the unwelcomed void, perhaps we haven't done without, but rather, have built an invisible abundance within.
You see, in 2020, we took the trip. First to Ireland, then to Indiana, then home again and in December, one time more. In 2020, we courageously plowed forward into the unknown, and then, quietly back into all things old, familiar, and true. We hiked beautiful cliffs and bathed in seaweed alongside the Irish Sea. And then, we sat on comfortable old porches and lawn steps and tree stumps as we smelled of dirt and timeless memories oozing from our pores. In 2020, we took the trip.
In 2020, I called Dad. Sometimes early, sometimes late. Sometimes we talked with friends, but more often, just us. Sometimes for just a few minutes, sometimes, hours into the night. I don't know if I would have called so frequently if my heart hadn't been breaking. In 2020, I called Dad.
In 2020, before we added, we learned to subtract. Before I thought about baking bread or painting by number, I thought deeply about how I was spending my time. We gave items away before we whimsically bought. We lessened the load before we took on more. We made a budget. We paid off a truck. Before I made a commitment, I made space to decipher whether or not the commitment aligned to my values and to my goals. I didn't do anything haphazardly in 2020. In 2020, before we carelessly added, we learned to subtract.
In 2020, we built the fire. We built it when it wasn't quite chilly, and then we built it again when it became cold. We built it with friends and we built it family. Sometimes, we built it in love, and other times, we built it in pain. Sometimes we built it early, and sometimes, we built it late. In 2020, we built the fire.
In 2020, we learned to pray. Sometimes early, sometimes late. Sometimes while getting ready, and sometimes, before a meeting would start. Sometimes to the sky, and sometimes in a dark room by myself. Sometimes for our suffering. Sometimes for our peace. Sometimes with hopefulness, and sometimes when there was seemingly no hope to be found. In 2020, we learned to pray.
In 2020, we dared to dream and we dared to hope despite all odds. As we adapted to the new normal, I also decided that the old normal wasn't a place I should ever wish to return. It's in the daily, in the mundane, where God is most likely to whisper. In 2020, God whispered. In 2020, I heard him speak.