The month of February always evokes the images of Valentine’s Day celebration. And what better time to ponder the concept of Love if not on Valentine’s? Well, it turns out that there is a better time. And that time is now. Covid pandemic has shuffled our deck of cards and put our living as usual on hold. The issue of Love is staring us right in the face. But how? Let’s look at how love is expressed in the context of family living. The husbands and wives in the pre-Covid world have had a more or less established daily routine. If you were an employed adult, you dropped off your kids at school, went to work, had a whole day to perform your work tasks independently and privately, and developed a sort of “I miss my family” feeling by the end of the day. There was the work world and the home world and the brain has had years to adjust to living in both separately. We dressed for work and behaved according to the outside world’s expectations, while home was a place to relax, rest, cook, and unwind. We had essentially outsourced our children’s upbringing to schools and afterschool activities.
However, back in March of 2020 when the virus quarantines started, this familiar routine became broken overnight. Spouses found themselves stuck at home with their kids (and the parents- kids relationships is a whole different topic to be considered in a separate article). The husbands and wives were now in each other’s face from early morning till late at night. If you speak to the local retirees – many of them will tell you that they have already had a preview of this estrangement from spending so much time with one another, now that neither one had a job to go to. And you were lucky if you lived in a home with many rooms which you could escape to, looking for a moment of privacy and peace. In most of the large cities of the world, the couples got stuck together inside a tiny apartment – with no room for avoiding one another.
And this is how Nature forced us to stop and face each other. Us – who have been living large and travelling around the globe,.. Us – who have been meeting hundreds of people and exploring careers and outside world offerings,. Us – who forgot to look in each other’s eyes in silence – and ask ourselves – “how do I actually feel towards this person I promised to love?” Perhaps the words of love were once uttered in a heat of passion. Or perhaps they were solemnly enunciated in a ceremony watched by many. Suddenly this pandemic had frozen the film on which your life was unfolding – and you had nowhere to run – and you faced the question of love whether you liked it or hated it. What made my relationship work? Or perhaps, what has been lacking between us? For some it is patience. For some, it is an ability to listen to the other person. Perhaps, it is an ability to find a compromise. Your partner is not a computer – you cannot turn him or her off if you dislike something. And, as our daily consciousness becomes split into many pieces by emails, news, phone calls, and messages – where do our loved one fit into our life? How can you maintain a family nucleus – a place you can call Home?
These are the beautiful poignant questions that Nature has dealt to all of us. Simply put, we got quarantined on purpose – to understand that what truly matters is found right here – in front of you. At Home. The other stuff (entertainment, work, peer discussions, etc) was designated by Life as virtual and secondary. But all of your G-d given 5 senses were literally forced to focus on your family at Home – so you would ask yourself about the meaning of Love. In this month of February, I hope that we get to feel grateful for being “stuck” with our loved ones. Because He is good that does good. And Love is what He wants us to discover.