by Cathy Leestma

A few years back Dave and I were on a cruise along the French Riviera, which I highly recommend once travel is safe again. We took a day tour via a chartered bus to the seaside town of Santa Margherita Ligure. It was a rainy day and somehow we scored the front row seats. Throughout the hour or so drive, we traversed many tunnels. It was frustrating in that just as we caught a glimpse out the side windows of the beautiful countryside or a small village, we would enter another tunnel where everything went dark. Our only view was straight ahead into the taillights of other tunnel travelers. Sure we eventually got through the “tunnel district”, but it was a frustrating ride. Our glimpses of light and beauty were interrupted again and again by the darkness of the tunnels.


Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy

‘Kind of like 2020 has been. You, I, we all have been tunnel travelers this past year. Some tunnels have been really scary like when the Covid 19 became a Pandemic.

It didn’t seem like a big deal at first, and quickly it became a very big deal, a very scary tunnel. We watched as the Governor of New York gave daunting and dismaying reports of catastrophic proportions on the health of the people of his state. We received daily updates from the Rutherford County Health Authorities. We didn’t understand the scope of what was to come. Now eleven months later and counting, we have a clearer vision. The vaccinations have begun. Hopefully the daily reports of hospitalized patients and death will soon drop. 

It has been a tough road. There were lots of tunnels where we weren’t sure what was on the other end. We’ve told our kids “be good to yourselves, have lots of grace with your frustrations.” We’ve watch our grandkids adjust to Zoom classes with little complaining once it became familiar. This was 2020. We will never forget it. It is bound to change our landscape for generations. September 11, 2001 changed America as we knew it, but Covid 19 has changed the world we lived in. There will be some more tunnels for sure, but I do believe I see the light!

Wishing you and those you love a very happy and healthy 2021.