Sense of Adventure; How Will We Find Renewal in 2021?
When the Storm Breaks. When the Bubble Pops.
With the passing of 2020, we stand on the edge of a new awakening. No, not in some namaste-tinged yogic way, but in the easing off of COVID’s ever-present hold on our lives. A light at the end of the tunnel. A cherry on the s@#* sundae we’ve had to endure these past ten months. In a Shawshank-like trance, many of us have spent the past year daydreaming about what we’ll do when we get out. So how will you emerge from this viral hibernation? Here’s some thoughts on Freedom ’21, if and when it finally comes. Be patient. Adventure is near.
Perhaps the most impactful loss of 2020 was that of human touch. Tinder got desperate. People worked from home. Public spaces became odd square-dancing venues for both the masked-up and those not down with a face covering. We gingerly stepped around each other in the grocery store aisle. The only people who experienced anonymous human touch did so at wild, dangerous protests in city centres.
When COVID finally pisses off, we can safely rub up against each other again, whether on purpose in a dark movie theatre or by accident without fear, like in the public rec centre sauna. We will high five and hug again. The world of single people will rejoice most, but even parents will relax knowing their kids can play with other students recklessly without fear of carrying home the deadly ‘Vid. Hallelujah, Hallelujah. Let’s touch each other again in 2021.
Art galleries, museums, live events…seeing a thing in real life is So. Much. Better. than watching it on a screen. And speaking of screens, watching a surf film—or Tenet for that matter—is superior on a big screen in a packed house full of cheering compatriots. We predict a resurgence in people-on-people events. Leave the damn ‘gram at home; Instagram is fun and all but aren’t you sick of staring at that phone? Maybe the experiences of COVID will kill social media selfishness once we are allowed to actually experience life instead of Facebook Live.
But I digress. When we all get vaccinated, let’s find renewal in seeing and experiencing life together, whether that’s witnessing a camouflaged ling cod after your friend taps you in the shoulder at 15 feet below the surface, or watching a pal make the drop on a glassy wave right there in front of you. Maybe we can finally make that terribly cliched catchphrase “We are all in this together” mean something again.
Oh, how I miss a big dinner party. Loud and messy and fun. Sharing food and wine unhindered by plexiglass and masks. We will get there again, friends. When you can eat with others, be sure to move freely around the room telling people you love them. Laugh loudly and speak as moistly as you like. Let people eat off your fork or spoon. Share the wine. Do not let the lingering COVID fears change the way a dinner party is conducted. If there’s one imperative thing we must not lose, please God, let it be the recklessness of eating, drinking and conversing with savage gusto. From the humble food truck to the white linen pretentiousness of Michelin star restaurants, let us continue to enjoy the simplest of pleasures: shared taste. Bon appetit.
The ocean and its beaches provide many forms of solace for humans. We get the fresh air, foraged and fished food, exercise, inspiring panoramas, and time to reflect in open space. But one of the less talked about benefits is the vast spectrum of smells that accompany the ocean. During COVID, the ocean provided a getaway for rural coastal locals, but for others the beach may have seemed so, so far away.
When the pandemic finally breaks, we can imagine a gentle swell of smiley tourists coming to the coast to experience the beaches and seas they missed while stuck inside in 2020. When you get here, get down to the beach or on a boat and soak up the smells that the city simply cannot provide: The salt air. The fresh breeze. Happy wet dogs playing. Campfire smoke. Even the low tide tang of seaweed and shellfish. It’s all part of the tapestry that makes up this magnificent coast. And man, does it ever make one feel alive to smell the fragrant freedom of the sea.
The most obvious way to access the joy of sound in a post-COVID world is live music. Remember sweaty shows, with the crowd pressed tight and moving in unison to the beat of the music? Whether in the energetic throng of an EDM show or simply grooving in your seat to a solo singer-songwriter on guitar, live music is a soothing balm for many of us. Missing it in 2020 has been tragic for music lovers. In 2021 the restrictions will slowly be pulled back, and note by note, the chorus will build until we are all dancing and singing together again. From The Hatch Waterfront dance floor to Victoria’s Capitol Ballroom to a few guitars around a crowded Chesterman Beach campfire, Vancouver Island will come alive with music again. And we hope you are here with us when it does. Sing it loud. Sing it clear. COVID can’t last forever. See you soon, friends.