My year started off with a very rough and bumpy ride, and I am not just referring to the cornucopia of political events that had the world holding its breath. Who needs online movies when you have unprecedented drama happening in the streets? Just when things were getting exciting though, my beloved MacBook decided to do the salsa before crashing for good. A trip to the repair shop decided its fate, and it seems I brought it just time since the batteries were swollen and close to exploding! My guardian angels have definitely been working overtime.
So while my laptop was in the repair shop and before I exchanged it for another unit, I bridged the gap with my ancient iPad mini and iPhone, even managing to stream some movies or catch up on a favourite series here and there. It was mercurial strain on the eyes, and although I valiantly blogged for a few days on the petit setup, it was not a sustainable situation, hence the gap between entries.
Nevertheless, I re-discovered the old BBC series Merlin for the nth time, and watch all five seasons again. We live in strange and complicated times, uncannily similar to the fairy tale series, with hoodlums storming Camelot without warning and evil sorcerers out to take over the world. I asked myself several times what is it about Merlin that keeps me coming back, until I answered my own question: magic. Some call it faith, others call it a higher power, there are those who will even venture to call it religion nowadays, but the point is that we need something intangible to believe it that gives us hope and offers us a better alternative for the future.
The strongest forces that have kept us in one piece these past months are not anything you can buy in a store or pick up in a forest. These are family ties and friendships that have gotten us through the worst days, made the tears go away, kept the spirits up when the going got tough. Call it what you want, but there is magic in that relationship that has no name, no price, and no boundaries. It is a force that grows over time, even though it may need to hide from time to time.
Most importantly, these are the forces that give us hope. We look forward to family reunions where we can all show up without masks, to being able to hug your friends again upon arriving in a restaurant – heck, even being able to eat in a restaurant again without masks or social distancing. Some countries are enviably easing up their restrictions, but in Europe and North America the noose is tightening, and the concept of restaurants and pubs has faded into an abyss. I hold on to the messages from friends who, like me, eagerly look forward to meeting up for dinner or drinks after work, and I look forward to the day we can do this again without fear or paranoia.
In the meantime, we hold on to the magic within and around us. Look closely and you will see it in that plant you so nurtured, the pet who looks at you with adoring (albeit confused) eyes, that phone call from someone checking up on you, that message that made you smile or laugh. It’s magic knowing that someone cares enough to send you good vibes in a time when we are bombarded with negativity and confusion.