Hope is a finite resource, and somewhere in the last year, mine ran out.
But, with the trickling of vaccines and promise of a rush by May, I find something reawakening. Call it spring fever, hope, or optimism, but I’m allowing myself to long, again.
I hope to not take the things I’ve missed for granted, though isn’t that the way it always goes? Perhaps instead, I feel endearment, for the future naive self who maybe can again take things like this for granted.
It’s coming—spring and normalcy.
Let us take the lessons, such as the real effect we can have on global warming by reducing transportation, the renewed interest in home cooking, gardens, and value in outdoor spaces. Yet, may it all soften. At some point, hopefully soon, the majority of people will be vaccinated. While that may still look different than the world pre-COVID-19, I’m allowing myself to dream.
These are the things we will do:
I will call you, a casual
“Want to get coffee?”
We will walk into the shop,
Buzzing with people:
Teenage girls in cutoff shorts and sweetened lattes,
Writers bent over laptops,
Toddlers slobbering over pastry,
And find our table in the corner
Never mind the crumbs on top.
We will sit next to each other
As close as we need to hear each other
Over the sounds of humanity
I will feel a hand on my shoulder,
And turn, because it is my neighbor
Who I haven’t seen in over a year
Since before we were separated
You will tell me about your heart,
And when I feel moved, I will wrap you in a hug
And I will breathe in,
Willing your pain out and into my lungs
And then I will breathe out
All of it
And it will infect nobody.
You always order chai
Because sugar doesn’t scare you
And I admire you for that,
And so I’ll ask you for a sip,
And you’ll pass me your mug,
But slide our shared muffin closer to you
And I smile because I’ve never minded
You having the larger share
My sugar-sweetened friend.
Eventually, it will be time to leave
We’ll weave out past the line at the counter,
Offering our table to the next patron,
Leaving our new crumbs mingled with the last.
It won’t feel so novel,
This seeing your mouth smile
Instead, we will nonchalantly hug again,
And part with an easy
“Let’s do this next weekend!”
And I hope we do.
And I hope we never again stop.