I’m not going to lie, we have seen some gorgeous days here in Vermont, and I have made sure to get out whenever possible to enjoy that special kind of joy from being surrounded by beauty. My best wish is that you are doing the same where ever you find yourself. Mostly I am joined by the wind in the leaves, the squirrels dashing amongst the undergrowth and the birds chatting about high above, but I also use my walking time to catch up on great music, and more often than not listening to one of the many podcasts I subscribe to. People have a lot to say these days, don’t they? haha, yeah, for sure me too… But this week one podcast really forced me to think deeply about the essential questions: What is our American Dream for 2020? What is our vision and our hope? What will propel us into an era of caring?
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.
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.