I recently received a note from a dear friend, and she confided that her greatest fear is that life may never return to normal after all. We’ve been through so much in the past 45 days since the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Orange County. Life as we know it has been challenged, suddenly on end, essentially paused, and we are left to wonder if we will ever resume some sense of normalcy.
In the midst of her words, I wept. I rarely cry and maybe it is the weight of this extended crisis – the loss of lives and the potential long-term effects on our community. Like so many, I wonder how we will pick up the pieces of life and business. So, in this, is a sense of longing and grief.
I’ve witnessed the strength and grace of our community. We understood from the beginning that even if we are not physically together, we are of one mind and that individual actions and responsibilities are the ultimate thing to fight this threat. It has been remarkable to see the immediate outpouring of love and respect to our essential teams of medical workers, first responders, and businesses.
The desire to support and to encourage others is the clear indicator of a community that values its core – its heart. It is the underpinnings of a community that understands the need to continue and it is that spirit and strength that gives me the greatest hope. It is our ingenuity and our passion for our lives, our families, our Valley, and each other.
I think of all the activities that have stopped, the parades canceled, celebrations postponed. Our downtown is quiet with little sign of activity. Empty playgrounds call for the delight of warmer weather and the joy of children playing together. Although my friend’s words led me to weep, I realize too that the tears were a release of my own fear. Out of fear and darkness grows promise – a seed searching for light, the silver lining of a storm cloud, the rekindled joy that life will resume.
The next Village Board meeting will take place on Mon., May 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Village Hall, located at 77 Main St. in Warwick, and will be held through Zoom videoconference and may be viewed live by the public on the Village’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/VillageofWarwick.
The above column, written by Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard, has been published in the Apr. 29 issue of the Warwick Valley Dispatch.