And so, week 3 of online college, work-at-home, and social distancing ends. Our home life is a bit of a ballet, each of us flowing from room to room throughout the day, giving each other attention and space in equal measures. Coming together. Staying away.
Except for my morning bleaching of this and that; my writing; some cooking; and the sewing of face masks (because that’s what we do now), I’m mostly outdoors. The garden. The bike rides. The naps on the bench and the waves to the neighbors who now pass by in a continuous parade of cabin fever breaks. The carrying of my water jugs up and down the hill in my neighborhood to train for the Peace Corps (which is still a go, by the way).
I hear birds so much louder than before. And laughter occasionally, which pierces the air with its unexpected and always-welcome purity. I don’t hear collective singing yet, like the Italians on their balconies, but maybe that is still to come.
We try to support a locally-owned and operated business once a day in some way. We try to stay in touch with the elders (of whom we have five between the ages of 84 and 91). We try to use technology to connect with friends and with our older daughter in Los Angeles. We try to dance and to not think about death so much (although the Pentagon ordered 100,000 body bags and my beloved New York City now has forty-five refrigerated trucks for storing corpses). We try, somehow. And on most days lately, we succeed in ways that would not have seemed heroic before but do now.
As we go into our 4th week of this new normal, we set new goals but know in our heart of hearts that just making it through the day is okay. It’s enough. And enough is a gift.
Enough love. Enough food. Enough hope.