Today I was reflecting on what it might have been like if, one year ago, people were told that in this time next year: they would have a few months during which they could not go to their places of work; they would be urged to stay at home with their families; restaurants, malls, and places of entertainment would be closed; and, that this would take place particularly over the spring and summer months.
I suspect that, only knowing these conditions (and apart from the genuinely tragic health crisis that has ensued but not touched everyone in a physically-threatening way) many people would have found this an attractive alternative to their daily lives and even begun to long for it.
How interesting it is that we often long for whatever is the alternative of our current situation. A good friend of mine was reflecting on this in light of her experience as someone from Fort McMurray. When the devastating wildfires happened there a few years ago, everyone expressed intense longing for and attachment to their homes. However, while confined to homes, many of the same persons express an intense longing to leave them and a certain detachment from them.
Of course, it’s natural and human to live in a balanced and moderate way rather than being experientially tossed between extremes. Still, I think it’s interesting to consider how often our longing is simply for something that isn’t the case. In a sense, it’s because this world can never fully satisfy us; we are made for eternity. Nevertheless, whatever our current reality is, it is something that it would be good for us to learn to love. And for this, gratitude for reality is always the key.