Image: A heart-shaped stone on top of green, white and blue beach glass, set against a red background. Photo by the blogger.
So this weekend, it’s Valentine’s Day on Sunday—and, for some of us, it’s also the Family Day long weekend. And, whether you celebrate either of these or not, you can’t deny that there’s a distinctly different vibe this year.
Many of us don’t have families of our own, or families at all (physically or emotionally); nor do we have romantic partners. Some of us are lucky enough to have ‘chosen family’, a small circle of close friends that go beyond friendship into kinship. The pandemic has forced both extreme distance and closeness with family and lovers alike—each situation with its own set of unique challenges and perks. And people have lost loved ones, not only to the pandemic, and welcomed new loved ones into their lives. To keep each other safe, we’re connecting virtually over email, text, telephone and video—even to say our final goodbyes.
Above and beyond all the marketing hype, cards and flowers, and family events—virtual and otherwise—this weekend, there is a real sense of how important these love connections and relationships are; and, as with so many other aspects of our lives these days, the pandemic has only served to heighten this feeling. This pandemic has shone a spotlight on priorities—on a global, national, local and personal level.
All of this came to mind as I was pondering the first things I want to do once we’re safely out of the shadow of COVID-19. Hug my loved ones long and hard. Spend time with family over dinner at a family member’s home. Brunch and movie/potluck nights with friends. Take public transit to the Beaches for a long walk on the sand, collecting bits of beach glass and driftwood as I go. Attend live arts performances and galleries/museums in person. So many things.
Our post-pandemic hopes and dreams reveal who and what we love the most.
Who do you long to see and what do you dream of doing when the pandemic is over?