Silver Linings Contest—2020

They say every cloud has a silver lining—something valuable found amid something gloomy. The phrase likely stems from these lines in John Milton’s 1634 poem “Comus”:

Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud
Turn forth her silver lining on the night?

The pandemic of COVID-19 has certainly been a sable cloud overhanging our planet. We invited you to tell us about your silver lining, in 19 words or fewer.

Here we present the winner and finalists:


Art history online and a lesson on Georges Seurat. Low-res, pixelated image or pointillist technique? I've learned the difference.

Julie Madary


I’m no longer jealous of the cat. Naps, window watching, eating, and we’re both cats now.

Robin Dixon
San Francisco, California

Roommate fled the city leaving in her wake silence and an air-conditioner unit. Hopefully she won’t return until fall.

Carla Lorenz
Brooklyn, New York

Delivering hot cocoa to a 97-year-old veteran makes you forget what was so important just an hour before.

Karen Kent
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Instead of beans, we bought a pool. Now we float and toast to life’s decisions, hoping summer never ends.

Jessica Carlson
Alexandria, Virginia

Compassion eased my quarantine blues when my neighbor's intuitive kindergartner scribbled in chalk "I Love Joyce" on my driveway.

Joyce Mulcahy
Bronx, New York