I don’t know about you, but last year I was looking forward to 2021 being the year when life would feel pretty normal again, we’d be able to meet up with our loved ones and we might even be able to travel. But low and behold, 2021 has begun and we’re pretty much in the same place as we were last year – and to some extent it feels as though we’re in an even worse place.
We’ve all been battling through this pandemic hoping for a day when things will seem brighter again, when the pain of the last 12 months will finally subside and when we can finally get back to doing the things we love. Over the last year, so many of us have lost jobs, lost our loved ones and been impacted in numerous other ways by Covid-19 – and if that’s you, I am so sorry.
But although it might feel as though we’re going round in circles, that things aren’t getting any better and that there’s no hope, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Every week there seems to be more and more positive news about vaccines, lowering case rates and new strategies to help life get back to normal. And life will get back to normal!
This last week the weather has been pretty grim in the UK. In the North we’ve had snow, hail, rain, wind. You name it, we’ve probably had it. So I spent this week in the house, watching my favourite films and just taking some time out to relax between University meetings. One of my favourite films of all time is the Lord of the Rings Series. And as I was watching The Two Towers this week, one of Samwise Gamgee’s most famous quotes gave me a little hope to carry on battling through this unknown territory and to look forward to a brighter tomorrow.
If you haven’t seen Lord of the Rings, let me give you some context for a second. Sam and Frodo are on an insane trek to Mordor to destroy the One Ring. The journey and the power of the Ring has taken it out of them, and Frodo is suffering pretty badly. He’s lost his hope, his will to go on, and his will to complete the task.
It’s at this point that Sam gives him – and us – a little encouragement…
“I can’t do this Sam.”
“I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end.
Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened?
But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why.
But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something.”
“What are we holding on to, Sam?”
“That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.”
I hope this gives you a little encouragement to carry on battling through the coming weeks as we face the unknown.
A little encouragement to hold on to the good that we’ve seen – people supporting each other, countries rallying together to beat the virus, scientists working around the clock to find a vaccine, individuals like Sir Captain Tom Moore raising so much money for the NHS and raising the spirits of a nation, and the NHS working so hard to save so many lives.
Hold on to it tightly and run with it, because it’s worth fighting for.