I arrived back in NY less than two weeks ago not really knowing what to expect concerning restrictions and “the feel” of life after 15 months in a pandemic. What I found was what I suspected would be the case sooner rather than later: life feels pretty normal. It feels completely different from what it did in January when I was last here.

There were always questions like: will life ever feel normal again or Even when it’s over, will things really go back to the way they were before?

I always suspected that they would. We are not a long-minded bunch, us humans. We easily forget, and we want what we want. And we will do what we want to do. And so it is.

No masks. I’ve had my first couple handshakes for over a year. Crowding in long lines. Laughing, singing, smiling. I saw hugging. I saw normal life.

I was at PNC Park last week, and even at 50% capacity, it had a normal feel. People were cheering. There were fireworks. If someone who hadn’t heard of the pandemic saw the scene, they would not have questioned any of it. Businesses are chirping, bars are packed, and the grand summer season has allowed people to turn the corner, to breathe, to move on and remember just how sweet life is.

May we not forget all that happened, but may we embrace a point in time that we have all been longing for.

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