A late May snowstorm carries certain obligations. Shake snow from the branches. Disconnect the hose. Rejoice that the Rockies won’t be able to lose today.
Oh, yes. And find a way to keep a young dog from losing his mind.
“Holmes, I promise, it doesn’t look any different out there now than it did 20 minutes ago.”
The deep brown eyes refused to believe me. I knew they wouldn’t. After all, the energy of a 1-year-old pup cannot be denied.
The door opened. Holmes emerged … to a world still gray with cold and snow. The look in his eyes as he returned said it all.
“I thought you FIXED this!”
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve discovered that our new dog’s secret identity is the Flash. (I know, Barry Allen will be shocked.) Given the chance to let out his energy outdoors, he gets the “zoomies,” dashing here, there and everywhere with a velocity that the Indy 500 would envy. Frisbees? Fun! Sticks? Even better! Squirrels? LET ME AT ‘EM!
But he’s also not all that fond of water falling from the sky. So when he hit his first spring snow with us, his pent-up energy could have easily charged a fleet of Teslas. Indoor play time helped, but (puppy and toddler parents, please join in with me here), “It’s just not the same!!!”
These days, I think many of us can sympathize.
After all, we’ve had our own routines disrupted for a lot longer than a one-day snow.
For more than two years now, COVID-19 has been a fact of life for all of us. We’ve learned about it, guarded against it, seen it touch those we know (or maybe even ourselves). At different times, we’ve masked up, locked down and learned the six-foot safety dance.
All the while, we keep looking for the way out again.
All the while, we keep getting frustrated.
By now, we all know the cycle. Cases cool down. Caution gets relaxed. We sprint for “normal” like Holmes heading for the back door, sure that the world is different this time.
And like Holmes, we discover the world hasn’t changed that much yet. New surge. New variants Same restlessness.
After a few rounds of this, the term “normal” has started reminding me of a line from “The Princess Bride”: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
We’re still finding out what normal is. It’s probably not going to look like 2019. It hopefully won’t look like 2020 (please, no). But there are two things we can know for sure:
First, normal is a moving target. Always has been, always will be.
Secondly, discovering that normal will take time. And patience. And yes, some continued caution.
That’s not a popular thought. I don’t like it either. I’d love to be able to push “reset” and have instant resolution. We want clear definitions, quick resolution, a finish line that we can cross and celebrate.
But it’s not that neat and simple.
We have to wait out the storm as best we can. Or everyone’s going to keep getting drenched.
On Saturday, Holmes peeked out into a different world. Muddier. A little harder to navigate. But once again open to dashing and discovery. He hurried out, his faith in the world restored.
May we all be so lucky.