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Sunday, I Sobbed

I have a Sunday morning routine. I get up before dawn, when things are quiet and peaceful. I make coffee, feed and walk the dog, and then sit down to do the crossword in the Sunday paper.

It’s one of my favorite hours of the week; just me, waking up on my terms, bothering no one and no one bothering me.

Yesterday, about halfway through the crossword and just as I made my second cup of coffee, something came over me without warning, like a rogue wave hitting the bow of a fishing boat. My stomach and throat tightened and my breathing accelerated, like I was in a panic.

Moments later, for no apparent reason, I was crying, but not just crying. I was sobbing. Just sitting there at the kitchen table alone.

And sobbing.

That may sound strange or make you uncomfortable, that a grown man simply broke down without warning while sitting alone at his kitchen table early on a Sunday morning. I apologize if it does, but I’m not embarrassed by it. I cry all the time; well, not all the time, but suffice it to say, I’m no stranger to shedding tears when appropriate, both privately and in the company of others.

Sunday, my subconscious mind indicated I had arrived at one of those times. From what I can discern, I was sobbing because …

… I miss my kids, and the lengths and effort it takes to spend time with them.

… I miss my friends and the family I grew up with, wondering when we’ll be together again.

… I miss so many of the things that I took for granted when I was a kid. Or 25 years ago. Or last year at this time, when life and the world were different. Not necessarily better, just different.

I was sobbing because …

… I wondered about the holidays and what the world will be like when they arrive, from a physical, societal, environmental and political perspective.

… so many “usual” things have become “unusual” or even impossible, at least for now.

… fires are burning; always burning these days, in cities and forests alike.

I was sobbing because …

… so many people from all ages, perspectives and walks of life are talking but not listening.

… people are fighting, and not just those who live countries or oceans apart, but those who are supposed to be united.

… we’re divided in so many ways, over so many things; the big and the small things.

I was sobbing because …

… I’ve seen more jarring and frightening change happen in recent weeks, months and years than I’d seen in decades prior. Change that makes my head spin, my stomach turn and my heart ache. Change that has brought out so much anger, hate, resentment and vengeance in people, in “We The People.”

Finally, I sobbed simply because on a quiet, peaceful Sunday morning as I sat at the kitchen table with my dog, my coffee and my crossword, I had hit a breaking point, exhausted by the sheer magnitude of “all this.”

It was a moment, one that came and then left, just as quietly as it arrived. And, after a while, I was OK again, finishing my crossword and my coffee as though this emotional outpouring had never happened.

Yet, it didn’t take away “all this.”

We talk about getting to the “other side of all this,” and I (like you, I’m sure) can’t wait for that process to begin. And, I also know that we – the supposed “united” ones – have different views of what that “other side” will and should look like. That’s OK, as long as we all work together to find the “other side of all this” together, in peace, with respect, and truly united.

I don’t tell you all this because I want sympathy or because I think I’m the only one who’s frustrated, confused or angry. I know I’m not. I’m simply human, just like you, and your family, friends and neighbors, all trying to figure out what’s next.

And Sunday morning, all that humanity -- that emotion -- released itself all at once in the quiet of my kitchen.

I wish I knew what the “other side of all this” looked like. I wish I knew when it was coming. And I wish I could announce it to all of us. But I don’t … and I can’t.

What I do know is that the “other side of all this” will look, feel, sound, smell and taste a lot different -- but also a lot better -- if we can figure out the “united” part of it, and the role we all play in working together to make a better life – and a better world -- for ourselves and others.

Be well, and I’ll meet you all on “the other side of all this.” Peace.

© 2020 David R. Haznaw

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