This cover of The New Yorker says so much about how the coronavirus is affecting people. It tells a story that would take many words to tell and would not be nearly as poignant. Here is a doctor, on duty one evening during the height of the pandemic. We can see her colleagues, rushing and focusing to do their best to help sick and suffering people. The doctor herself has paused for right now. She is stealing a minute to wave goodnight to her husband and children. The children are safe and cozy in bed, hugging their stuffed animals. The husband is taking care of them, and they are all missing her, loving her. They are trying to maintain some semblance of normalcy when they all of them—the parents in particular—know that absolutely nothing is normal and, indeed, the lives of each of them and so many others are at stake.
This illustration speaks of duty, both professional and domestic. It speaks volumes about love. It reminds us of how love gives us the courage to grab the treasured ordinary in the midst of the frightening extraordinary, because those moments of ordinary treasures become, in such times, the most important thing in the world to take care of.
May you give and receive moments of beauty during this hard time.

Trebbe Johnson
Trebbe JohnsonFounder
Trebbe is the author of The World Is a Waiting Lover and 101 Ways to Make Guerrilla Beauty. Her new book, Radical Joy for Hard Times: Finding Meaning and Making Beauty, will be published in Fall 2018 by North Atlantic Books. Her articles about people’s emotional and spiritual relationship with nature have appeared in Orion, Sierra, Ecopsychology, The Ecologist, The Nation, Harper’s and other magazines. She lives with her husband, Andrew Gardner, in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, a region currently under exploitation by natural gas companies.

Image Credit:

  • Ware Bedtime 040620: Chris Ware, The New Yorker


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Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places.