What an incredibly difficult time these past months have been for many of us and our loved ones. A time of uncertainty, feelings of fear, mixed messages, and the unknown of when it will end. Not knowing what our new normal will look like. It has been a time where we have seen increased relapse for those in recovery, as well as drug overdoses. It has been critical for us to keep our doors open so those that need it can access our services for treatment. A time where a safe and supportive environment is critical for healing.

Yet, in spite of all this chaos and uncertainty, there are some things that continue to keep us grounded. The crocus still came up on time peeking through the ground at a time when everything else looked so bleak. The songbirds have returned to draw our attention to the beauty all around us in both sight and sound. The grasses are green, water is flowing, trees are budding, and babies are being born. The cycle of life continues in spite of the fear and concern many hold.

One of the components Mahala’s Hope is known for is the importance of family involvement, including the family program, family visits, and the opportunity for children to spend a night here with their mom. The women in our program during the COVID-19 time have had to be here without having any physical contact with their children once the Safer at Home act was put into place. Their courage and strength during this difficult time has been very humbling. The other important part of our program is assisting the women in transitioning back to their community. This is done by providing opportunities for them to go home on passes that are extended closer to their time of discharge. We will be doing more follow ups with those that have not been able to experience that transition phase.

Through all of this, I have been witness to the compassion and commitment of our staff in making each day a little better for the women and also understanding how difficult this time is for the women and their families. We all wonder a bit about what the new normal will look like … my hope is for all of us to have realized what is really important each day, and in the grand scheme of life. The world has slowed down and many have taken a moment to realize how good that feels. Stay safe and be well.

May you be at peace. May you be happy. May you be safe. May you be free from pain and suffering. May you awaken to the light of your true being.

In deepest gratitude,

Sandy Hardie