We’ve lived here at Meadow Knoll for over thirty years, and this has been the most beautiful spring I can remember. The New Dawn rose on the trellis beside the deck is heaped with fragrant rosy-pink blossoms. To the delight of the hummingbirds on their northward migration, the crossvine climbing the east wall of the house is a mass of coral trumpets with burnished gold throats. The pyracantha is covered with white bloom clusters and buzzing with bees. And out in the meadow, the lush green grass is brushed with wide swaths of bluebonnets.
Or perhaps it only seems more beautiful here because the pandemic has turned the human world into global pandemonium. In fact, if it weren’t for the internet and the television/radio that connects us to the outside world, we wouldn’t know that such a thing as coronavirus exists. It’s tempting to turn it all off or tune it out and just get on with our lives–but of course we can’t do that.
So we’re doing what everybody else is doing: we’re in the age-risk group, so we’re hunkering down, staying put, and watching incredulously as this tiny scrap of RNA upends a modern civilization. We’re both introverts and we don’t miss social interaction. We’ve both worked from home for over thirty years now, so we have a regular routine, and like you, we try to keep to it. Masked like a bandit, Bill gets in the car and drives the 30-mile biweekly round trip for groceries and the 5-mile semiweekly trips for mail, as well as managing the daily outdoor/indoor mix of mowing, brush clearing, and business stuff. I work on the current writing/publishing project, while the daily meals, laundry, and my slap-dash housework go on as usual. Aside from the missed haircuts (we’re beginning to look like aging hippies, which is really okay) and the missing occasional restaurant treats, there’s not much external evidence of change. Our blended and extended families are safe. We’re safe. We are privileged, deeply privileged, and we know it.
Which makes me feel hugely grateful, more than ever before in my life, for those amazing humans who are out there making the world safe for those of us who can stay hunkered down. The health care workers who are in danger every minute. The grocery/pharmacy folks and those in the supply chains. The people who drive buses and trucks and trains and fly planes and keep the phone systems and internet functioning. The teachers who are putting classes online so their students can do something that feels like learning. The moms and dads who are working from home and homeschooling, both at the same time. The dedicated people who are keeping our cities and counties and states and federal government operating.
All of which makes the chaos and dysfunction in the White House so frustrating, so angering, so damned disgusting. It doesn’t matter what our political philosophies are or whether we’re Democrats or Republicans or Independents. As Americans, all of us ought to be mad as hell about the failures of vision, the mixed messages about mitigation, and the dangerous, deadly mismanagement of emergency supplies and testing–not to mention the lies and denials, the defensive efforts to squelch critics, and the president’s near-total lack of preparation for the one of the most important jobs on the planet. We will survive, yes. We will get through this, yes. But it won’t be because we had any leadership from the White House.
Enough. Back to hunkering down, working on what needs to be done, and appreciating the flowers and trees and grasses of a beautiful spring. I hope it’s just as lovely where you are, and that you and yours are well and–above all else–safe from this ugly virus. Thank you for reading, and for being a friend.
PS, posted later. Comments are monitored. You’re welcome to disagree, but rude, personalized attacks won’t be posted.