the waiting game

If you are like us, you spent Thanksgiving within your own household, adjusting that gloriously BIG American meal for a smaller quieter crowd, and then got real inventive with the leftovers. You did this because you really do care for our extraordinary health care professionals and brave service workers, bus drivers, police and firemen, and the caring teachers who are still manning their in-person classes. You did this because you understand science, and care about the spike in COVID cases from coast to coast and you know that you can make a difference by minimizing your close encounters of any risky kind. Right? As we cross into December, it is clearly time to take this advice to heart and get our priorities straight, if for no other reason than for this waiting game to come to a close. Collectively, can we possibly agree to call the 1.5 million worldwide deaths enough? Are you ready? Can I count on you?

They say it is darkest before dawn, and yeah, most of us are feeling that darkness. Every day I email or zoom or chat with students who are struggling with lagging motivation or health challenges or parents out of work, and I just listen. Under all that angst is something so strong. Something like hope. Students have always been the reason I’ve stayed teaching for nearly three decades, and even now, as a 100% remote virtual teacher, I can say, they are the reason I can keep my head up. We have a remarkable generation on the rise, adaptable problem-solvers, coping in ways that buoy me on the daily. If for no other reason than for them, we all need to get our shit together and stop complaining about what we think we lack, or are entitled to, or can’t live without. Call a friend. Watch Netflix. Sit still and dream on. Without causing all the hullabaloo of a super spreader. Can you do that please? If not for them, for who?

For the past nine months I have kept myself in my neighborhood, mostly. Walking, running, biking. First watching winter melt into spring, rising into summer, flaming into autumn, and freezing back to winter. There is an endless sky and water and land to observe within the little five mile loop I can navigate on two feet, which, if I allow, fascinates me. Perhaps not My Octopus Teacher spellbinding, but magnificent in its shifts of light and water and now ice design. My neighborhood has gifted everything I have needed.

Yesterday I was on the afternoon run and I caught this sight. Out of the dreary came the brilliant. Yeah, as easy as that. Have patience my loves, we will return to all that we wish to, very very soon. The scientists got our back, and with all that will be in place come next February or July, the sky is the limit.


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