A Couple Of Things They Don’t Tell You

Here are a couple of things they don’t tell you about sheltering in place. They don’t tell you how one day will blend into another, how you will have to look at your phone or computer calendar to know exactly what day of the week it is. You might rise earlier to catch the sun coming up or sleep later and wake with a dream chasing you into your day. They don’t tell you when you shelter in place how much you will miss your grown children – the ones you only saw once a week anyway but with the virus senses are heightened and each moment has an urgency to it. It feels like all the love you have must be funneled into this moment in case it passes and the opportunity isn’t here again.

When you shelter in place they don’t tell you how filled with emotion you will be when an ad hoc parade rolls down your street. How hearing horns honking will lift your head from the trowel in your flowerbed. How you will move to the front yard in time to see banners with the names of teachers, proclaiming how much they are loved and missed. Your hand will automatically go up to wave and tears will automatically fall for people you don’t know and for a mascot you don’t recognize but the outpouring of heartfelt sentiment is real and palpable. You see your neighbors, who have also come out onto the street, put their arms around each others shoulders. As the parade disappears everyone lingers, looks in the direction the parade has just gone, holding on to the love just a little longer. With a little wave, or half smile, people slowly walk back to what they were doing. They don’t tell you that when you are sheltering in place you will feel alone even among your neighbors.

Or how spending twenty-four/seven with your husband, the man you love, can feel like a little too much time together. How you have no doubt you want to be together but even in this time of sheltering and craving time with others, you still need time to be alone, to be still with your thoughts, to just breathe.

They don’t tell you how the joy and beauty of seeing your friends on Zoom can quickly swing to heartbreak when you realize how long it has been since you’ve hugged any of them. No one tells you how difficult it is to perform for your friends, cello notes ringing loud and clear… you see their faces but can’t make eye contact, and you see their hands are clapping but you can’t hear the applause. No one tells you when you shelter in place how much you will miss the subtleties of human contact, the shift in posture you read in a conversation, the slight inflections in one’s speech, the things lost with the delay of video links. No one tells you that playing bridge, a game you love, will become just a game. What you really loved was the analysis of the play of the hand afterward, the laughter, the teasing, the small talk. Typing in a chat box doesn’t compare. Nothing can replace the feeling of security and realness of gathering in the same room – even if all you do is smile and let the energy of their being wash over you. I can’t wait to be drenched.

God of ACCEPTANCE

The landscape painter at the artist colony in the country
noted for its messianic light, its sparse, hard-to-capture
beauty, complains she's come all this way to paint al fresco but
the mosquitoes have driven her inside, no matter the netting
on her hat, her cuffed sleeves and pants, a heavy does of Deet.
They bite through everything. And when she tries to snap a
picture, a breathy handkerchief of mosquitoes flutters over
the lens.  What can I do? she moans, trapped in a dull and
narrow room, thinking of booking a ticket back to her studio
in Vancouver.  Paint the mosquitoes, god replies.

Lorna Crozier
from God Of Shadows
2018 McClelland & Stewart

(image credit: Trichy Insights)

Confidence

As we continue to settle into accepting that we will be dealing with the corona virus for some time I came across this little piece of advice. Unfortunately I don’t have a name to give credit to. (The Batman image credit goes to Clipart Pin by Liran S)

Whatever you’re doing today, do it with all the confidence of a four-year-old in a Batman t-shirt.

Have a great day. Continue to be kind, to others and yourself.

A Homecooked Meal

(Betty Crocker image)
The poem I've written today was inspired 
by the writing of Jimmy Pappas.

The Secret Ingredient

For a simple dessert I wash fresh raspberries
to remove any trace of Covid-19.
I pop one in my mouth, let water squish with the flesh
of the berry on my tongue.
Now I make butternut squash soup with produce purchased 
on the first outing in a month:
fresh butternut squash, leeks, onions and potatoes,
unsalted butter and farmer market carrots.
A granny smith apple, peeled and cored
adds a hint of tartness.
After it simmers for awhile I add fresh cream,
a sweet childhood delight, that swirls rich and smooth.
The table is set for many guests.
Please join me.  I have prepared a bowl 
especially for you.

A Quiet Strength

(internet photo – Ricke)

The past several day I’ve had the pleasure of seeing owls when I am out for my walk. Standing in the space of their presence brings me a sense of joy and calm – a moment to forget everything that is happening in the world around me.

A Quiet Strength

Hope is a great-horned owl.
It is yellow eyes 
that harness strength.
It is open eyes 
that face shadows.

Hope allows you to soar
on winds of change
to leave some old habits
and bring something new 
into your life.

Hope settles 
on a tree limb,
listens, looks
for subtle signs,
sees what usually goes
below your radar.

Hope uses the beauty
of night
to inspire creativity.
Little can stop
an owl once it has set
its sights
on "the prize"

Some Fun Facts About Owls

Owls have specialized feathers with fringes of varying softness that help muffle sound when they fly. Their broad wings and light bodies also make them nearly silent fliers; which helps them stalk prey more easily.

An owl has three eyelids; one for blinking, one for sleeping, and one for keeping the eye clean and healthy.

A Mary Oliver Poem & More Street Art

another “gem” on the path this morning

I continue to find little treasures as I go out for my walks. This morning I came across this inspirational painted rock. We had a lovely sunny morning but unfortunately winter continues to be reluctant to let us go into spring. The forecast for more snow helped me choose the Mary Oliver poem I am sharing.

THE STORM (BEAR)

Now through the white orchard my little dog
          romps, breaking the new snow
          with wild feet.
Running here running there, excited,
          hardly able to stop, he leaps, he spins
until the white snow is written upon
          in large, exuberant letters,
a long sentence, expressing
          the pleasures of the body in this world.

Oh, I could not have said it better
          myself.