A cyclist ride past a coronavirus graffiti by street artist 'Uzey' showing a nurse as Superwoman in Hamm, Germany Image Credit: AP

Generally, at this time of the year I am slightly preoccupied. I am busy wrapping up the year and tying up the loose ends by attending to overdue, unfinished tasks that have conveniently been tucked away in the farthest recesses of my mind. With buoyant optimism and warmheartedness, I also carefully wrap presents for family and friends so that the beautiful tradition of gift-giving is kept alive. I cannot imagine any other way to herald the new year.

There is no denying that 2021 has been challenging on several fronts — whether it be health-related, a family bereavement, loss of employment or something equally disturbing. The year has been fraught with heartaches, troubled trials, and a measly sprinkle of tribulations.

Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, our lives and lifestyle have undergone tremendous changes, from calamitous to the unthinkable. However, what has risen from the ashes of 2021 is ample reserves of resilience and a staunch unison of optimism and hope. A hope that tomorrow will promise a new beginning.

Bubbly sparks of hope

These joyful, bubbly sparks of hope radiate from our own children. Despite the challenges of the global onslaught, children have remained resolute in their determination to make the most of what has been offered to them.

Undeterred by the compulsion of wearing masks or the imposition of other restrictions, our sprightly, enthusiastic children embrace this new way of living as effortlessly and ceaselessly as a marble rolling along a well-polished flooring. Such trivial matters hardly diminish their jubilation of returning to regular face-to-face schooling and rejoicing in the company of their classmates.

They are glad and grateful that their school-going routine has finally resumed. Oblivious of the severe implications of the pandemic, they are thankful for these small blessings. Irrespective of all the trappings of the outbreak, children have remained unfazed, undefeated, and unbroken.

For children what matters to them has finally been restored- their regular school routine and their friends. So, donning a mandatory mask hardly proves a dampener to them. This is because children naturally choose to look at the sunnier, brighter side of life.

Instinctively they have understood the precious value of time and are determined to make the most of their carefree childhood days. It is amazing how they have learnt to adapt to the new normal, while many of us are still grappling to come to terms with it.

Too harsh on ourselves

However, we cannot be too harsh on ourselves as with every stumbling block posed by the menacing virus, we have emerged stronger, more tenacious, and resolute in our outlook. We have moved on from taking matters for granted to cherishing the simpler joys of life. We do deserve an appreciative pat on our backs. We have done ourselves proud.

We all admit that the transition has hardly been as tranquil and soothing as the gentle waves caressing the shore of the sea. Initially it was excruciatingly painful to accommodate and adjust to the newly laid out norms. But eventually we did glid forward and that has made a world of difference. The year, though ruthless and unforgiving at times, has inspired us to break free from our silken cocoon shields and compelled us to adapt ourselves to the unfamiliar, sometimes sinister new developments and formidable challenges.

As we finally bid 2021 adieu and prep for the new arrival, there is reason to slacken our pace a little and pause for a while. This is the moment to reflect. A moment to look back into the recent past as well as around us and be grateful for the bestowed blessings.

Despite some of the indelible memories that have scarred us this year, our greatest blessing is that we continue to breathe. We withstood the threat of the virus and are still alive. Our existence, surely, is testament enough of what we should be grateful for.

Shortly my wrappings for the year will be complete. As I unwind with a cup of tea, the chilly winter air wafts with a deep feeling of optimism and sense of purpose. It brims of positivity and a fresh, brand-new beginning.

We are nearly there. A new dawn is just around the corner.

Seema Nambiar is a freelance writer