Light in the Darkness


Larissa Pothoven, Editor

Although these days are troubling times, we can still have hope.  Despite all the negativity and brokenness and pain, there is some good coming out of this experience.

Essential workers and doctors/nurses/health professionals are finally getting the praise and respect they deserve.  These people risk their lives daily so we can continue to live ours.  We hear stories on the news about how caretakers at nursing homes are leaving their families to work and live with their residents.  I have so much respect for everyone working on the front lines of this pandemic.

People are also finally realizing how difficult the job of being a teacher really is.  There are memes all over the internet about parents struggling to homeschool their children, and acknowledging that teaching is a much more difficult task than they originally presumed.

Artists of all kinds are getting more appreciation.  We stream their live concerts and watch their movies and TV shows and performances.  People are beginning to realize more and more how boring life would be without the creative mind.

Thank goodness for technology.  Thanks to social media and texting, we are able to keep in touch with our friends and loved ones, even though we cannot see each other in person.  Although I am not a fan of Zoom, it is the only way I can continue to have weekly flute lessons and talk or play games with members of my youth group.  Even people who do not typically like technology can appreciate the benefits.  I also recently downloaded Trivia Crack, and I have had fun bonding with my family as we work as a team to figure out the answers.

The community is coming together, despite not being able to meet in person.  On my daily walks, I love looking for hearts in windows.  These works of art bring a smile to my face.  Also, Kayci Straw started a Facebook page where members of the community can adopt a Rock Island High School senior.  This is a great way to show appreciation, and it feels so good to be remembered, even though we can’t finish the school year the way we expected.

In a more global sense, there has been a sharp decline in pollution and carbon emissions.  The environment is doing much better than it has in a long time because people have not been traveling as much and many factories have been shut down.  Of course, as people go back to work and businesses begin to reopen, pollution will return.  But it is nice to see helping the planet is possible by reducing toxic emissions.

My mom has said that she’s very grateful we have free evenings.  I am usually busy in the evenings, between marching band, musical, Bible study, and church youth group.  When one activity ends, another one starts.  I do miss my activities, especially Musical, but I am enjoying playing board games and card games with my family and watching movies together.

Since I’m going away to college next year, this is a good chance to enjoy every second with my family before I leave.  For instance, whenever my sister says “potatoes,” I always say, “Boil em, mash em, stick ‘em in a stew,” as a reference to Sam Gamgee in Lord of the Rings.  At supper, the other day, my sister mentioned that it’s going to be weird when there will be silence after she mentions potatoes, because I’m going to be gone.

As Gandalf the Grey says in Lord of the Rings, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time given us.”  I know these are difficult times for all of us, some more so than others.  But Dumbledore, from Harry Potter, reminds us that “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.””

— Larissa Pothoven

Let us take this time to thank our essential workers, health workers, and teachers for their dedication and hard work, and make the best of our time at home.