Coronavirus Days--Week 21
Will I chronicle into the Week 30s? Week 40s? Week 50s? Each week I wonder how many weeks I will ultimately write this blog series. Not because I believe the pandemic will pass--these coronavirus days are not going anywhere quickly. Not because I can't find time to sit and commit words to a page. But because some Sundays, I wonder if I have anything new to say. Is there something I might write that will connect with someone reading? My writing is often inspired by experiences, observations, something strikingly different than the norm of my days.
These past months of a small world life have given me a more meditative lens for weekly reflections. Sure there's new. Sure there's the odd. But mostly it's a routine that I've settled into. For the long haul. Or at least until the weather turns colder.
Mornings I'm up early, usually by 6am, even without needing to get to work. I like the early, the quiet, the way Whitman joins us in bed when we stir or by the time light is slowly making its way into the room. He cuddles, and when I commit to awake, turns over on his back, for a long belly rub. It's the usual every morning, a good usual. After pets are fed and Whitman does his thing in the yard, I return to bed with a cup of coffee and linger for awhile, reading.
Books have been a huge benefit this summer. Plenty of time to settle into a read, like a vacation when I don't have a thing to accomplish. This nourishes and helps me stay away from tallying the sick and dead. For the past couple of weeks, I've been digging into Say Nothing, a well-written engrossing story of The Troubles. Not only is it filling in some gaps I had regarding the history of this Northern Ireland conflict, but it reminds me of the summer I visited Belfast. I can picture Shankhill Road. I know the distance between Dublin and Belfast because I traveled between them. I can revisit, even if it is only through pages of a book.
Most days include my typical wandering in the neighborhood, occasionally noticing something different on a street I decide to venture down. People seem to rise earlier as the weather gets hotter, making the window for walking Whitman and myself narrower, since we both prefer our strolls without many people in sight. I get my miles in. I walk out some of my energy. And some days, I run, in the street away from people walking their dogs, happy that my neighborhood streets are still lightly trafficked, at least in the morning.
Occasionally, something in the routine changes, such as this past week. I met a good friend for a leisurely walk around City Park, a place with wide enough roadways and dirt paths to walk without screaming, to walk with our masks. The scenery was a change, even though it's a place visited over the years, but I hadn't walked around the park in years, so it wasn't on my usual wander. We went to a favorite local coffee place late morning, a place that is usually packed but was quite empty, a place that had expanded a back outside patio beyond a small nonsmoking section. Big picnic tables where two friends could sit at a physical distance, without masks for a little while, enjoying a cold tea and scone. A wee bit of normal. Conversation in person, different from a phone conversation, different from a string of texts. Even if we wear masks, even if we are a safe distance apart, I prefer in person, once in awhile. The connection feels different. Familiar.
Most days I try to find time for some hammock therapy. It stills me. Time to stare into the sky and think of nothing. Idle. Process thoughts. This past week, I escaped to my hammock to figure out my plan for classes, a looming reality only a little over a week away. Sometimes I nap. Sometimes I read. Ultimately, it's a place I relax.
And Whitman, clearly, has figured out how his ball tosser can still meet his needs from the hammock. We have a rhythm. A plan to get through the days.
Sometimes even routine is an escape from the coronavirus days routine.