Tanglewood lawn and Shed with trees (copy)

Tickets for Tanglewood's 2022 summer season will go on sale March 10. The unveiling of the 10-week lineup marks the first complete programming schedule at the Boston Symphony Orchestra's summer home since 2019.

If the last couple years has taught us anything, it’s that we must hold fast to hope when we can. With that in mind, we are heartened to hear Tanglewood’s plans for a full-size season for the first time since 2019.

Amid the cacophony of COVID, it particularly stung to sacrifice the sonorous joys offered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer home in the heart of the Berkshires. But after the historic cancellation of the 2020 season and last year’s shortened slate, Tanglewood’s announcement of a 10-week lineup stirs hope for a triumphant reprise.

As usual, music lovers will be spoiled for choice with robust classical offerings, popular artists like Ringo Starr and Earth, Wind & Fire and a 90th birthday celebration for John Williams that will feature a slew of stars such as Yo-Yo Ma, Branford Marsalis and James Taylor. But beyond the jam-packed lineup, Tanglewood’s summer plans also suggest steps toward normality for the iconic venue: reopening Ozawa Hall, bringing back Tanglewood on Parade, resuming Tanglewood Learning Institute events.

Between the last full season at Tanglewood in 2019 and now, hope has become a rarer commodity. A full schedule for the BSO’s summer home accompanies a more hopeful picture of where we might soon be in the protracted fight against the pandemic. The highly infectious omicron variant was responsible for a serious spike in COVID cases and an ensuing crush on the health care system. The silver linings, though, are that omicron appears to present more mildly than previous variants and the vaccines are remarkably good at preventing severe disease even among newer variants.

Case numbers are beginning to look a bit brighter as well, with several states — including Massachusetts — looking like they have peaked and begun a downward trend. And while health care capacity is still squeezed, there are promising trends there as well. In states where the omicron variant first arrived, the amount of people hospitalized with COVID has started to drop. Hospitalization and mortality data tends to lag infection data somewhat, so it would be reasonable to expect those important metrics to follow case numbers if they continue shrinking.

We shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves. These data are promising in the big picture, but certainly don’t mean the pandemic will be over tomorrow or next week or even next month. And it might be tougher to rouse hope for this summer after last summer’s hopefulness dashed against the rocks of the winter’s delta variant surge.

Still, we can be clear-eyed while acknowledging some meaningful evidence for cautious optimism: omicron’s relative mildness, vaccination’s powerful protection against severe outcomes and infection data that appears to be moving in the right direction. We should emphasize cautious — but in a hope-strapped world, it’s worth also worth it to emphasize the optimism from time to time.

Hard as it might seem, that also means thinking now about what a post-omicron new normal could look like later this year. The welcome return of a full Tanglewood season strikes a hopeful tone.