What a year, right? I hear friends wishing for it to end, as if the New Year will flip a magic switch and 2021 will bring an end to “this terrible year.” We might not want to admit it in the days before that “Happy New Year,” but getting over 2020 will be gradual and forever incomplete. Those who have died will long be mourned. Many businesses won’t come back and many jobs are lost forever. We will never return to many of our old easy habits. Coping mechanisms have emerged that will cast long shadows, some dark. There will be post-traumatic stress effects. Office space, work hours, transportation patterns, conferences and conventions, birthday parties: all will return in distorted form. 2020 gets the blame.

But who knows, if not for 2020…

What Good Might Not Have Started

Who knows what good might not have started
If we had all stayed the same way,
Enmeshed in routines done dull-hearted
Just trudging half blind through each day.

This year that has seemed so accursed
Has brought us a new point of view
Would we never or ever have noticed
The people we praise now anew?

The nurses, the doctors and teachers,
The drivers, and grocers and clerks,
The helpers and healers who stepped up
To make sure that everything works.

And food banks that came into being
Where never before angels went
With generous souls freely serving
To people who stretched to make rent.

Admiringly we call them “the front line”
The people that we never knew
But angels appear when you need them
And COVID has brought them in view.

I wonder if we would have squandered
Our hours and minutes away
Unfeeling and mute as we wandered
Complacent in each passing day.

The crisis has made us refocus
On things that are precious and dear
Like casual hugs and cheek-kisses
And missing them made some things clear,

Like valuing love and each other,
Giving service to others in need,
And loving the ones we hold closely,
Being thankful in thought, word, and deed.

11 thoughts on “2020

  1. Beautiful poem Bruce with a lot to think about. This “messy” year has definitely given us the gift of time and introspection to figure out what is really important in our lives. The biggest thing 2021 brings is HOPE! Much love to you and Stormy and may we all have the best new year possible as we figure what direction we’re going. Love, Linda and Bill

  2. Thank you, this is how I feel. Maybe it’s because both my husband and I are fully retired. Maybe it’s because I’m finally learning to stress less about my life. I have been forced to only do what is allowed. Which has kept me home. I don’t have any excuse to not do what I’ve been avoiding, putting off, for many years.
    Yes, it’s been frustrating in many ways, but I’m learning how to let it go, and relax.
    I feel a bit of sadness for those that have to blame someone or something to justify their person emotions, of unhappiness.
    Just my two cents!

  3. Bruce, You and Stormy are angels. I love your comments and I love you both.
    Let me point out that not EVERYONE is waiting for the Coronavirus to be over.
    My housemate and I have 5 cats and they gleefully run around all day playing
    with toys, taking naps and playing with us. Also the CROWS don’t seem to
    care. I feed them every morning so they don’t need a stimulus package. They
    like sliced almonds and apples if I remember correctly. Cat food salmon not
    so much. When forced into a corner I will admit that I would like to get back
    to singing and exercise classes at West LA College. Outside of that, it’s all
    A happy life to all of us.
    More love,

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