One of the hardest things about this pandemic is the uncertainty. We had plans. Plans fell apart. We erase our calendars, lose track of what day it is, and wonder how long this will last. The not knowing can be overwhelming and lead to fear and panic and anxiety…if we let it. But in every dark cloud, there are silver linings, if you continue to look. One of the biggest silver linings for me during this ordeal is the slowing down and being present.
In the midst of this uncertainty, we have a choice. We can live in fear and anxiety, or we can choose to live in today. The here and now is all we have for sure. It’s all we’ve ever had for sure, but this is a huge reminder. When I’m walking the dogs, or reading, playing games, doing a puzzle with our kids, nothing has changed. I continue to remind myself of this every day. As I’m lying in bed each night, I’m harder to convince…but I’m working on it. While I still watch the news, I have tried to stay off my phone as much as possible, especially in the evening. Early on, I found myself checking my phone constantly, and I realized that not only was my phone not allowing me be present with our kids, but it also drastically increased my anxiety, and was stealing moments that could be such bright spots in the midst of the chaos. Yes, there is fear. I have allowed myself moments of being afraid, but there are so many other emotions waiting for us as well.
In the book, Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom says:
“If you let the fear inside, if you pull it on like a familiar shirt, then you can say to yourself ‘All right, it’s just fear. I don’t have to let it control me. I see it for what it is.’ Same for loneliness: you let go, let the tears flow, feel it completely, but eventually be able to say, ‘All right, that was my moment with loneliness. I’m not afraid of feeling lonely. But I’m going to put that loneliness aside and know that there are other emotions in the world, and I’m going to experience them as well.'”
So we allow ourselves to feel the fear and the uncertainty and the disappointment when those emotions arise. We feel them, and then we remind ourselves that there are other emotions waiting for us as well, like joy and hope. And while there is a lot of uncertainty in the world today, here is what I know for sure.
I know that, no matter how much the pandemic has taken away from so many people, it cannot take away the love we have for our friends and family, the joy we can find each day if we continue to look, and the hope we have for a better tomorrow. “Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have isn’t permanent.”
I know that none of us are going through this alone. It may feel like it sometimes, with social distancing being necessary these days, but whatever we are feeling, thousands of others are feeling the same.
I know that camaraderie and fellowship form the backbone of the Deerhorn experience. We are committed to supporting that. Nothing can prevent us from continuing to build community, no matter what that looks like. We will support each other through all of it, and whether you are a camp parent, camper, staff, alumni, or friend of Camp Deerhorn, you are not alone. We are right here with you. I have loved seeing all the submissions for the digital campfire these past two weeks. Many of them bring tears to my eyes, as I am reminded again and again of the brotherhood of Deerhorn. Check out the videos on Facebook and Instagram.
I know that we are a mission driven organization. We were founded on the Deerhorn Creed, and we have been guided by its values since 1930. No virus is going to change that, and we will always stay true to those values.
And I know that nothing is more important than your child’s health. We continue to plan to open for the summer of 2020, and are working hard to understand the situation as it unfolds. But no matter what, your child’s health is our top priority in decision making.
And I know for sure that my heart is full of gratitude for the Deerhorn Family. Thank you for all your kind words of support over the past two weeks. We know that there will be more rave launches, campfires, and horseback rides in our future. We will get through this together, and then gather once again “In old Deerhorn Hall.”