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When the Dust Settles




July 1 is Canada Day. Canada was established as a country just one year before the start of Japan’s Meiji period, making Canada 154 years old on this day. Normally, a day of backyard barbecues with friends and family, celebrations this year however will be somewhat subdued as Covid-19 persists. Hopefully, by this time next year things around the world will be getting closer to normal… or the new normal, whatever that turns out to be.


As you know, summer in many parts of Japan is extremely hot. For those of you who know me, you know that this is my least favorite season. So, as I thought of ways to stay cool, I began to daydream about lovely winter days and had glorious visions of snow. This led me to think about snow globes.


Snow globes are small ornaments that typically contain a winter scene like a Christmas tree or Santa Claus that remain fixed in one position. When the object is shaken, white dust, meant to imitate falling snow begins to swirl around, eventually creating an image of a lovely winter scene.


Thinking about this, an English idiom popped into mind: when the dust settles. This simply means, the circumstances after a period of change or confusion. And I started to draw parallels between the snow globe and what our world will look like post-Covid-19. Some of our world will not have changed much, while many parts of society will have changed significantly.


Perhaps American motivational speaker, William Ward, said it best:

The pessimist complains about the wind;

the optimist expects the wind to change;

the realist adjusts the sails.


We won’t know what our world will look like until the dust settles, but one thing is sure, people are resilient and will adapt to the new environment as they have done throughout human history.


Most likely, we will embrace the changes and have a new appreciation for the things that have remained unchanged - the things that we have missed for so long.


Wishing you health and happiness, always.


Mark Tofflemire

Tailor Made Inc.



Key words and phrases:

subdued: quiet, not showing excitement

persist: continue firmly, not slowing down or giving up

ornament: a small object used to decorate a room, shelf etc.

imitate: copy, model

when the dust settles: the circumstances after a period of change or confusion

circumstances: the condition or environment surrounding and event or action

draw parallels: to indicate ways in which two distinct things are similar

post: after

conversely: on the other hand

pessimist: someone who tends to believe that the worst thing will happen

optimist: someone who tends to believe that the best outcome will happen

realist: a person who accepts a situation as it is and is prepared to deal with it accordingly

embrace: welcome, hold close

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