Saturday, February 20, 2021


The garden is full of tiny blossoms, and I wish that I could invite you over to enjoy them with me. Everyone must be positively sick of hearing about the thing we have been dealing with for nearly a year, the invisible yet conspicuous menace that has changed everything in our daily lives. This week marks the beginning, for us, when we discussed the very real possibility of quarantine, when we took inventory of our disaster preparedness supplies, and considered what we could need to last, isolated at home for two weeks, or six months, and we laughed at the idea of that scenario. It seemed too improbable, and possibly too horrible to comprehend, a pandemic going on for more than a season. We were mindful, but now it is almost as though we were envisioning something that would be simply a long campout, an unfortunate misadventure we would soon laugh about, and be happy to have made it through with only some inconvenience. Now, we punctuate every conversation with phrases like, wearing mask, safely distanced, before COVID, tested, and I wish we could... And the losses, the setbacks, the disappointments, grief, and frustrations have been far more grave, challenging, and lasting than we imagined. I wish we could have managed all of this more capably, with more concern, and care. It's been a long year.

Even though I am full of wishes, full of concerns and empathy, and somewhat weary of protocols and limits, I cannot say it's been all bad, or particularly hard for us. We have, undoubtably, been uniquely prepared and suited for staying home, keeping busy, and feeling comfortable. For one thing, we are prepared... it's been years since I first put Alex in charge of our emergency preparedness kits, and other measures. He has kept us in good shape for earthquakes, evacuations, zombies, and other scary things! And then, all of our hobbies, and sometimes idiosyncratic interests, have been a tremendous help for us, and for our community, and have provided many, happy distractions, and opportunities for fun, for engagement, and celebrations. Even ideas and plans we made with other purposes in mind, have lent themselves fittingly well for these new circumstances, like widening the driveway, adding more seating, and improving our space for getting together outside. We have been fortunate... we count ourselves lucky, in friends, in resources and ideas, in patience and flexibility, and imagination.

I wish I could see my Mom and Dad, safely, as easily as we did before. I am so glad they are managing well enough, that they have each other, and Netflix, good humor, and their cozy home. I wish Maria could go to school, as we imagined it would be, as she hoped she would enjoy. I am very thankful that her teachers and classmates can still participate, safely, in classes, and lessons, in clubs, and activities, mindfully and patiently doing all things possible to keep safe, and not spread the virus. I wish there was no injustice, indifference to global issues, cruelty, ignorance. I am heartened by the outcome of our national election results, by the tone and endeavors of the new administration to be kind, to act progressively, openly, and for the good of all. And I am renewed by my community, by the stories of kindness and generosity, of ingenuity and good faith that happen every day, in small gestures, and big movements. I am reminded that we have a beautiful capacity to do good, to share and inspire, to lift each other up, and I hope that we see more, do more, to spread these gifts we have, through compassion, with love, for all. I wish we could sit close together and eat focaccia, smell these tiny blossoms, laugh, and cry, about the year, and soon, be happy that we made it through. Very soon, I pray.

1 comment:

Janece said...

I love that you are writing about the past year... contemplating it. I think that's healthy and feel the desire, in reading your words, to do a version of my own. To look at the experience and identify what it has taken and offered.