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.

Salou, Spain

Salou has been a welcome break from the fast pace/high energy of the crowds when touring. We are enjoying sun and sand in this little town that welcomes families to its beaches. In the photos John is trying to point out that his glass contains only water, whereas in my photo I’m holding a pitcher of Sangria😄

Brrr!

Close Up of Ice Crystals

It’s a frigid -26 Celsius with ice crystals in the air so I thought I would post a winter poem 🙂

Edward Gates
From: Heart’s Cupboard

the wind beats snow
against my house

threads hang from the coat of a man
filling the cracks in his home

last night a man with black hair
drank beer by the well house

he laughed through a crack in the door
I put more wood on the stove

I am warm leaning back
on the legs of his old chair

Shadow Lake

The road winds into the distance
rocks, roots, puddles and mud
draw them higher.
Each step one closer to the lodge
built years ago by others
who passed beneath more youthful trees.
Trees that now bend and sway
creak and groan as they lean
to hear conversation below,
chatter to ease the monotony
of the upward stretch.

Clouds twist and tumble
tease with grey and blues swirls,
jackets on and off
in rhythm with their play.

Each stride squashes every day worry.
Layers of adult responsibility shed
as boots splash and smiles spread.
Friends greet each other,
prairie dogs happy to ascend to the alpine,
to explore new territory.
Covered in mud they giggle,
children who play in the rain
because they can.

Shifting Gears

cyclists

(internet photo)

I spin down a pathway
pedals whirl to keep up
to spend time together
close the gap
that isolates our hearts

tires roll past multi-color expressions
laughter, chatter, music, silence
I dodge crashing apprehension
scrape muddled rumination
from the gear shift of our relationship

my knees bend
pump, push, genuflect
bow to the journey
the adventure
the unknown
bow to discovery
as I learn
what makes your gears turn smoothly
and what makes them grind

bow to anticipation
riding uncharted paths
where we create our own ruts
where blisters reveal our soft spots
where together we go the distance

fix each other’s flat tires
and deflated egos
quench each other’s thirst
push each other
back to the beginning
where the gap first cracked
and we couldn’t see
where the ride would lead us.

Golden Glow

Laughter bursts above
clinking cutlery and
toasting glasses.

There is a buzz in the air.

Friends reminisce
with pleasure, the hours
they just spent together
as the sun drops along
the horizon, turning the
golf course a golden green
in light that entices fairies
to come out and dance.

As stories grow,
merriment increases and
new memories are made.

Beer suds mustaches
and rum twinkling eyes
reflect a zest for life
of friends enjoying time
together, even if it meant
chasing a little white ball
for miles on a sunny
afternoon.