This is the sixth installment of the Covid Chronicles blog from a Castleton University Media Writing class detailing students’ experiences during the pandemic.
Who am I?
While being the title of one of the greatest Broadway musical numbers of all time, it is also a question I have asked myself consistently throughout the course of my entire life; and it seems that I am not alone in regard to this inner inquiry.
Little did I know that it would take a worldwide pandemic to finally get my answer.
Let me take you back to a particularly cold day in April of 2020. What had been slumbering underneath the surface had finally burst forth in all its hideous and monstrous ways.
As this creature of darkness ravaged the world, I sat helpless in my bedroom.
As this monster murdered thousands of people, I tried to help in any way I could.
As this beast swept the cowering earth, I realized that I was a tree against a hurricane.
But what kind of tree was I?
At first, I felt like a pine tree. Tall and stoic, standing guard but to no avail. I was swept away by the hurricane in an instant.
But this was not true.
Next I thought I was a fruit tree. Allowing brief moments of reprieve and fruit to replenish health, but was left bare and fruitless by the power of the hurricane.
But this also was not true.
After weeks of analysis and after months of trying my best to fight against a storm that was so massive in scale that there was no way to overpower it, I finally realized what I am: a palm tree.
This hurricane has bent and swayed me in ways too painful and horrifying to survive, yet I am left standing.
And in these times of great uncertainty, we are all palm trees.
We have been pushed and pulled and bent nearly to the point of snapping, and yet here we stand.
Here we live.
And here we try to thrive in the midst of a cyclone.