129 Days – Saturday July 18, 2020

Lately, our days roll by without much fanfare. We are living our days out in the heat of summer here in central Texas, but it’s nothing that a bit of shade and an icy beverage can’t make a little more comfortable. Sheltering in place makes the pandemic seem far away from here, even though I have read the headlines declaring that Texas has become inundated with cases. It’s just that WE are not “out there” in the world at all, so unless I keep tabs on the news, we are more or less off the information grid, and I keep my reading to a minimum for the sake of peace of mind. There is nothing I can do about what is happening out there right now, so we focus on keeping busy here at home.

We have our routine down pat now as Al rises with the morning doves and I go to bed to the sounds of our old hooty owl sitting on our chimney. Because Al gets up so early, he also goes to bed early. The opposite is true for me. My burning the midnight oil, as it were, causes me to sleep later in the morning. It is a good system because it allows personal individual time for each of us to do whatever strikes our fancy.

Yesterday, I slept in very late because when I awoke earlier in the morning, I was coming out of a very comforting dream and I decided to roll over to see if I could catch more of the dream! I did! I had to smile to myself upon waking for the second time when I realized that I did not have to socially distance from anyone in my dream. There we all were, laughing and hugging each other and enjoying the love we felt! It felt wonderful to be sitting in close proximity to loved ones again which is why I rolled over to try and recapture the dream!

Al and I made a hearty breakfast this morning and carried it outside to enjoy on our porch with a hot cup of coffee. As we drank and ate, we visited with each other and I told him that despite what we know of the pandemic, the riots, and politics, (all joy stealers), I felt that this “time out” from the rest of the world was almost like a Godly gift to us. Not since I was a child have I ever had so much free time to commune with nature and God! There is no peace more comforting than this kind of peace.

I wonder, not for the first time, what the future will bring. I wonder how long it will be before we are free to spend time with other people in close proximity again. I think of our theater season tickets languishing in a dresser drawer. I think about our family in the north country and wonder how long it will be before we see them again. I think about my husband and sons cancelling their July fishing trip this year to Alaska and wonder if that will be possible even by next year on the same date? Will anyone be safe enough to travel anywhere by plane by then? I wonder about Thanksgiving and Christmas and birthdays coming up and if we will have to celebrate all of those in a solitary fashion as we did with Easter.

Truth be told, there is no more effective jailer for old people than a pandemic and we are all living with the consequences of the virus escaping far across the world. The world isn’t so large anymore with modern travel in airplanes, and before this pandemic is even over, scientists are already predicting another Pandemic in the not so far off future. Will we be better prepared next time?

Those are a lot of deep questions for a Saturday morning with no real answers. So I refocus my mind to what is in the here and now. Al’s hair needs a minor trim and I wonder if he will trust me to do it? My rose bush needs trimming too and some spraying to ward off insects. My newly planted Crepe Myrtle trees need a bit of water. Our grass needs mowing. The bird bath and fountains need filling. My boxwoods could use a little trim too and the flowers need some attention. The shade and the breeze are lovely. I can hear the squeak of brakes as the mailman stops and drops off our mail, so I think I shall go on up the driveway to retrieve it. I also have a very good book waiting for me to pick up and continue on with the story!

It’s the little things in life that keep us content and happy! The little things give us a a sense of routine and security, and allow us to focus on the things we can control, or at least, give us the impression that we even have control. Control is just an illusion and it is within this illusion we feel safe! So, safety then is also an illusion!

As all of these little things are beckoning to me, so is Al. He says he wants to go for a drive in the countryside, which sounds good to me! I tell all my “little things” that they will have to wait for me now because I have a very important date I need to prepare for! We might even sit on the bank of a river and tickle our toes with cool rushing waters! We will go where the spirit leads us, and our spirits never steer us wrong!

And so it goes with life in the days of Covid-19. We are grateful we are still here and still healthy. Sooner or later life will return to what it once was, (or maybe it won’t), but I wonder now if we will really want back all that we once had and did? Maybe to “be still” is the best gift of all?

jjb/7/18/2020

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