I sat under a tree in a park this morning and thought about all the positive things that have come from 2020, a year that is only halfway through its full reveal.

Then, under fluttering leaves and puffy white clouds, I started writing them in a yellow spiral notebook. Positives! With an exclamation point.

In this time of crises, dare we hope?

For me the answer is yes.

I’ll begin with that shady spot in a park that, prior to this month, I used maybe three times in 21 years of living here. To give you an idea how crazy that is, I am currently at my desk in my apartment and I can see the park outside my window. But recently I dug out my portable chair and made myself at home under a tree and now it’s a frequent thing. Thank you, pandemic.

Why, you might ask, do I never use this park? Well, it’s because one more block to the east is a waterfront promenade along the Hudson River that is a healing and energizing feast for the eyes and it calls me more often. Let’s add that to the list of positive things about the stay-at-home order – I have never appreciated this feature of my town as much as these last three months. This is partly because there was a chunk of time in there when much of the waterfront wasn’t accessible.

Since being home for such a concentrated amount of time, I’ve learned that preparing so many meals for myself feels nurturing and even luxurious. I didn’t always eat fancy, but I ate well on dishes that are vibrant and glassware that’s eclectic and makes me smile.

As the days and weeks passed, there were people going out of their way to check in with me and vice versa. So much connection. A sure highlight was the formation of a regular Zoom happy hour with friends, a reunion of sorts because we no longer all live in the same town. Bravo, pandemic.

Speaking of Zoom, this period in our lives has opened up the option of online classes for me. Sure, Zoom was there before, but I tend to learn by fire. It was either teach on Zoom or don’t teach. Now I love using this amazing tool and realize how shortsighted I’d been.

I have a new appreciation for cafes and diners. I stashed away some money. I made the best of losing a major income stream. I helped a fair amount of people in need. I created things. I dealt with and continue to deal with altered sleep patterns and vivid anxiety dreams. I completed an online Yale course.

As others struggled with various home situations, I passed the “alone” test with flying colors. I felt my feelings and rode them out as I nested into my couch. I cried with newscasters or upon reading articles about people who died from COVID-19. I mourned my Uncle Joe, who passed from the virus. I found perspective and humor where possible and even felt reinvigorated at times.

I listened and watched intently the circumstances of the deaths around Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Brionna Taylor and the subsequent emergence of Black Lives Matter protests. I’ve seen the revolution unfolding, the coming together, the drive to learn more and to understand more and began to wonder — is this the divine plan? Did it take an abhorrent presidency to have a moral awakening so powerful and fierce there would be no going back? Have we cracked open our country and let the light in?

Amidst all this I reconnected with my own abundance and the feeling I could do and be whatever I want. I had lost sight of that for a while.

Through these crises, I once again saw my life’s wholeness. I am ever grateful.