After the choppy seas of the past seven months, we’re finally returning to normal. However, after the challenging times behind us, what is normality?
The waters are calm and peaceful again: my husband is back at work; I’ve submitted a new short story to a US publisher, another is about to go off to a South African publisher; and we’ve returned from a short, soul-restoring holiday to Kaapschehoop.
What a relief to realise that after traumatic events – be it the loss of a loved one or a life threatening illness — life goes on and normality eventually returns.
Or does it?
While on the surface life seems to return to the same rhythms as before the crisis, there are small beacons flashing reminders that irrevocable changes have occurred: the frozen Facebook profile of a deceased friend; the multitude of scars criss-crossing my husband’s body; and the red-ringed date on my calendar marking the first of his many future check-ups.
|Can life ever return to normal after rough seas have battered our shores?
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©iStock.com/"Waves" by airn
It’s less than a year since our lives changed. We’re still picking through the flotsam, discarding psychological and physical debris, re-designing our world, for life can’t ever return to what it was.
Post-trauma, when the rough seas abate and we dock on rocky shores, we look around and discover a new world. Small yellow dandelions creep through the cracks in the rock; the sun is partially obscured by clouds ... but dandelions aren’t always weeds and clouds also bring purifying rain.
Filled with gratitude, we anchor ourselves and accept that life, no matter how changed, can still thrive and grow in this land of our new normality.