For several years we have lived on this same street, the one I’ve driven mostly at the speed limit. Except for the occasional weekend run up and back down the adjacent dirt road, during this shelter in place time, I’ve been walking this street and all about in my neighborhood, a lot. My new favorite jaunt is a 3.5 mile loop that for a section of that distance I pass by open water. It’s a shallow, in spots reedy and swampy pond, but right now, the sight of the wind rippling across it is heaven. In March, when we first began the stay at home order, the pond was broadly covered by ice but under a cloudy or blue sky this expanse was everything wonderful to see even while frozen and stagnant and filled me with enough joy to navigate another challenging day.
And just when we thought life was a given a never ending treadmill of home to work and back again with no reprieve COVID 19 showed up and slammed the door in our face. No questions asked just shut tight with whatever we might face all alone without our gyms and theaters and courts and spectacular spectaulars. Holy shit peeps, this got real zero to sixty, and somehow we’re all still flying high like trapeze artists. I don’t know about you, but I feel as if I am swinging without a net, just one second to the next, all unchartered, all frightening, all unknown, and yet, we are all doing it with finesse. Huge shout out to my teacher buddies and administrators, the special educators and para educators, and everyone else moving the cogs in the school system round and round and let’s not forget the scores of students sitting alone in their bedrooms or surrounded by family in shared spaces or those homeless kids seeking shelter and still logging in to google hangouts and zooms and youtube or whatever platform they can to stay connected and stay in school and stay sane and yeah still learn. You are all my heroes right now. Class of 2020, you are people we will write poetry about, sing hallelujah for decades about, for you are relinquishing prom and yearbook deadlines and graduations dates and final everything. You are stronger than you think. And we will find a way to hold on. A way to swing through the paces, and make this look effortless. A way to make this all work like magic.
Just when we all thought that getting through February was the biggest hurdle we’d face, through snow storms and chaotic debates, made it in and out of long work days and navigated shopping centers in frigid temps and facing winter challenges, we made it into March and ran smack into the hysteria and misinformation of COVID-19. Not that The World Health Organization isn’t doing what they can to spread truth, but we’ve been well-schooled to distrust the truth, repeatedly, and ad nauseam, so much so that doubting everything we hear or read from our reporters is the new normal. So, what to do in a crisis when we are several years into a reign of doubt? I’d like to suggest that we all take a deep breath, right now, inhale and exhale, and press play to watch the waves roll in and out. Just for a few seconds. Let’s start with that.