From the Desk of Kara Lewis… Pt 2

It has been 7 months since Harmony Garden brought you our “From the Desk of…” series. If you never read my last blog, you can click here to see where my head was at seven months ago. Seven months later and I can honestly say, this year has taught me more than I thought possible about myself, therapy, and technology. For everyone, this year was a rough one. Daily life took a stand still, social distancing became the norm, and the world was turned upside down. Instead of visiting people in person, we connected through Zoom and Google Meet and shared in the comradery of just how difficult daily life had become. We clung to the few small routines that we could find comfort in: grocery shopping, our very small “pods” that we could visit in person, and for those of us at Harmony Garden: music.

Personally, this wasn’t my first hard year though. I have had two hard years. In 2019, I lost my brother in March. It was the first big grief I had ever had to experience and I won’t soon forget how difficult it was learning how to keep moving forward when it felt like my whole world had stopped. So 2019 was hard, but I learned so much from that year. How to cherish the small moments, prioritize spending time with my family, and most importantly, how to take care of myself when my world seems to stop but life keeps going – and boy did I use that last skill this year quite a bit.

In March of 2020, the COVID pandemic came to America and although it has been difficult, it has taught me so much as well. The biggest lesson of all being the reason why I chose to become a music therapist. This year re-enforced the importance that music has in our lives and the consistency that it brings to our families in times of uncertainty. When everyone was stuck at home Staying Home, and Staying Safe, Harmony Garden was putting hours and hours of research into how to bring the music to you: to your tablets, your laptops, your TVs. We knew that in that moment, we provided something everyone was needing: familiarity, routine, and friendly faces. Just as much as we felt we were providing a service to you, your smiling faces lifted our spirits when we felt like we were grasping at straws. In my last blog, I mentioned sprouts livestreams being one of my favorite moments of the pandemic so far…and although those moments are still among my favorites, I think my absolute favorite moment came when Jaime and I did Sprouts at the Park. The sheer number of our families’ faces, smiling, dancing, and singing along safely distanced and outdoors was the greatest feeling. When Harmony Garden families show up, wow, do you all show up. I am so extremely privileged to work for all of you.

So although I have had two hard years, they haven’t been “too hard” years. I am tired, I have learned many life lessons, and mostly I am just tired. But that doesn’t change the many, many, many rainbows that have come from the storms.

My Favorite Moments of 2020:

  • Sprouts livestreams with kids from different states playing along to the music on pots and pans and playing musical scavenger hunts
  • Outdoor sprouts seeing all of our families’ faces
  • Getting to see my Day Program in-person again
  • My husband and I going to a Christmas tree farm and cutting down (for the first time) a real Christmas tree
  • Watching two different livestream concerts: Josh Groban and Trans Siberian Orchestra
  • My best friend had a baby and that means I get to be Auntie Kara for the first time ever