Most of us have watched movies like the Hunger Games. Buildings are in ruins. People have barely enough food, driving them to violence. Survival is a moment-to-moment struggle. That’s how I always imagined an apocalypse. I never imagined we’d still have the internet. I never imagined my apocalypse would appear on the outside just the same as before. I didn’t see this apocalypse coming.
In my imagined apocalypse, I never thought it would bring an entire globe in a united front – fighting the same battle, facing the same fears, showing the same compassion. I couldn’t see anything but fear and division. I couldn’t possibly have predicted the pure kindness of strangers going out of their way to bring groceries or books or wine to a neighbour they’d never met. Or how many people would reach out through video or text to people they worried about. I thought isolation would look a lot more lonely.
In my imagined apocalypse, I saw darkness, terror, distrust, ugliness. I didn’t realize it would be so beautiful. That snow would still glisten and the sun would still shine. That people would create and build and wave and smile. That we would get to know our neighbors better because the merry-go-round finally slowed down. I didn’t imagine that I would see more dogs and art and emotion and generosity.
I didn’t know what pure gratitude at seeing another human face would feel like, even at a distance. I didn’t know how absolutely human and alive I would feel just by stepping out my front door. I didn’t know what a gift it would be to have a completely blank calendar.
But now I do know.
My apocalypse looks a lot like love.