Opinion » Pique'n Yer Interest

Finding silver linings



I've always been a complainer.

While I try to deliver my grievances with a dose of humour, if we're moderately close and I'm feeling a feeling, you will know about it.

Stoicism? Mystery? Those are for cowboys and spies as far as I'm concerned.

Needless to say, I've shared my emotions liberally and frequently over the last 40-some days in quarantine. Like many people, I've spent much of that time riding a wave of feelings—from sad to angry to grateful to hopeful and back again.

But here on the cusp of May, a new season in front of us, tiny morsels of good news finally on the horizon, I feel a palpable shift in our collective emotions.

People suddenly seem capable of seeing silver linings in this disaster that they couldn't spot in previous weeks.

Today, we pulled the plug and postponed our July wedding to 2021 and I feel nothing but gratitude that all our Sea to Sky vendors have been so kind and accommodating in what must be a stressful time for their small businesses.

Shortly after officially hitting "send" on that email to our venue (which is Sunwolf, and they have been amazing—on top of contending with so many challenges over the last few years), I interviewed Paul Hudson from Squamish band anonymericans. That band recently contributed a track to a Vancouver compilation album called Quarantunes, made up of songs written and recorded in quarantine.

At the end of our chat, I asked him if the group had gleaned any new skills or lessons from the experience. They had and, in fact, he was able to see a silver lining.

"We almost have to take the good out of a bad situation," he said. "When we reflect back on this period I think a lot of music and art that's been created in this timeframe will be part of a positive legacy that comes out of this."

It's hard to see the good in the dark moments and if you haven't reached the point where you can find your own silver linings or joy, that's OK, too.

But as we settle into our new normal, it is becoming abundantly clear just how adaptable, resilient, and amazing humans can be. I see it at 7 p.m. when I stand on my balcony banging a tambourine and I look over to spot my neighbour banging her little cowbells. Every night, we look over at each other, smile, and wave enthusiastically. It's a point of connection with someone in my building I wouldn't have otherwise had.

I see it in the lovingly painted rocks that are tucked along the trails I run every day. Kids and adults painted encouraging words—"We're all in this together," "Love is all you need"—with the sole aim of brightening up the days of people they might never meet.

Even the people I encounter on those trails have been, for the most part, achingly kind in both their greetings and the way they attempt to give as wide a berth as possible to everyone they pass. That is its own act of kindness and it doesn't go unnoticed.

If you stay off the internet, you find that most people want to be as gentle and pleasant as possible because we've all been navigating our dark days and we all know that anyone could be in the midst of one.

And that is my biggest silver lining takeaway from this whole terrible nightmare: we've seen the humanity in our own communities and across the globe. We've glimpsed the tenderness and vulnerability that exists inside each of us because we were forced to let our guard down in some way at some point during this challenging time.

And, in the end, we can hope that the world will be better for it.