Susan Lundy, Editor
“Going down the rabbit hole” could be a metaphor for our lives the last few months: “To enter into a situation or begin a process or journey that is particularly strange, problematic, difficult, complex, or chaotic, especially one that becomes increasingly so as it develops or unfolds.”
You don’t necessary realize you’re heading down a rabbit hole until you’re there. Suddenly, it’s a whole new word, and it’s almost impossible to go back.
Not that going down rabbit holes wasn’t part of our collective pre-COVID life. For example, you might Google, “why do I have neck pain?” and half an hour later you’re reading all about spondylosis and herniated cervical discs, even though the first answer was likely the correct answer: “Working at a desk too long without changing position.”
The Spotify rabbit hole is a fun one too—when a random song springs you back to your youth and suddenly you’re dancing around the room playing forgotten Trooper songs, accompanied by bad singing, the latter of which is directly related to the size of your wine glass….
But during COVID times, the situation seems more pronounced, partially because suddenly we have more time. And so it goes that my at-home revelry this spring seemed fraught with journeys that became more bizarre at each turn.
While cutting your own bangs and/or hair may not entirely fit the definition of a rabbit hole…It certainly leads to a problematic or chaotic conclusion. Once you start, it is a long and winding road to your final, often bizarre destination.
I’ve always been a news junkie, but—at least for the first month or so—the COVID-19 crisis sent me down dozens of hyperlink rabbit holes. My appetite for news became insatiable. I found it overwhelming and beyond distracting. It was tough to focus on anything else.
There was also the bleach rabbit hole, precipitated by a bleach-soaked cloth left on a kitchen counter—“look how clean it looks!”—and resulting in the bleaching of every surface in the kitchen, including the linoleum floor and my favourite black T-shirt.
But some rabbit holes lead to unexpected destinations. We have become epic walkers, trading in our junk-food-eating, beer-drinking, sports-watching evenings for daily walks that last anywhere from one to three hours. We’ve discovered new trails by setting out on less clearly marked paths, unsure of where we’re going but ultimately finding spectacular new spots. And because of these walks, for the first time it seems, we’ve had a front-row seat to an intimate unfolding of spring. We’ve watched the glory of the landscape transforming, bursting, blooming and presenting itself as a living tapestry in lush, vivid colour.
It has struck me at certain times—like when I finish my day’s work hours earlier than in the “olden days” or when I dig about in my first-ever garden—that there will come a time when we look back upon these months and, despite the many hardships for many, recognize there were “good times.”
We may just realize that this rabbit hole set us on a journey that has forced us to pivot from a “strange, problematic, difficult” time to one of self-discovery, gratitude and even moments of joy.