“all shall be well…”

Around this time last year, as Covid reared its head and we barreled into the political upheaval of fall, I was possessed by an idea.

It kept appearing in my head over and over:

“All shall be well, all shall be well,

and all manner of things shall be well…”

There was a familiar comfort in these words, almost like a forgotten dream that came rising to the surface of my mind.

It was only after an internet search that I discover these words were written by Julian of Norwich, an English Theologian famous for her book, Revelations of Divine Love, popularly believed to be the first book in English written by a woman.

But the circumstances surrounding its writing felt so familiar.

Julian was an anchorite, a mystic cut off from society and isolated in a single room. As the Black Plague ravaged the English countryside, Julian remained in her single room to pray, write, and watch the desolation through her window.

If this isn’t a perfect reflection of the year we’ve all had, I don’t know what is. To reach into oneself in search of the divine and return with such blazing hope, such faith that “all manner of things shall be well” truly is miraculous.

It reminds me of what Albert Camus once said: “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”