It stands there, a simple white tent. Something you may not have even noticed months ago, years ago. However, now that white tent makes our spines stiffen and our breath catches in our throat now.
Years ago, I worked in event planning. I have stood in dozens of white tents, breathing in the magical world within.
The white tent that held breast cancer survivors sitting around celebrating their personal victories. Pink feather boas hung around necks, bald heads where worn with pride. Laughter danced off the walls, and strangers embracing each other like long lost friends. You could feel the love and hope float in the air like a sweet smell, you could breathe in love.
The white tent that has held event participants- the excitement and music dancing off the white canvas walls. Bouncing feet and smiling faces. Homemade shirts sporting family names, and poster boards with inspiring messages surround me. The excitement fills the tent by the moment as the DJ starts to count down the start of the event.
The white tent at the finish line with runners hugging each other, not minding the sweat dripping from their brows. Bottles of water and a Banana in one hand as they lift their finisher medal towards their faces smiling for a photo. The feeling of accomplishment over powered the stagnate smell of gym shoes and body odor.
A white tent has always been a symbol of joy, a place filled with excitement. A place where I have felt at home and proud to stand.
Now, white tents stand in empty parking lots of medical offices. Traffic cones leading up to the open flaps. A testing facility for the pandemic!
The white tent is something I now see and fear. Those white tents, that were once a symbol of joy and excitement- now bring fear and sadness to my heart.
The world has changed over the past few weeks- as a society we are struggling to find the joy in daily life. We have lost the sense of security.
Many of the things that have brought us joy and excitement has been canceled- family gathering, special events, concerts, birthday celebrations, holidays, play dates, dinner out with our spouse, a coffee date with a friend.
As we struggle with mourning the loss of daily life- we need to remember the joy. We will have better days.
White tents one day, once again, be housing that newlywed couple as they dance their first slow dance. It will once again be the backdrop of the marathon runner shinning with pride as they celebrate a victory. We will once again celebrate life’s joys and dance in celebration!