The world was beautiful. It surprised me, how beautiful it kept on insisting on being. In spite of all the lies, it was beautiful. from Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo
There are signs of spring everywhere I look. Flowers are breaking through the ground, reawakening from slumber, and I am taking this to heart.
M and I took the dogs out today, then I went for a little walk by myself, just me and an audiobook. I hadn’t been on the dirt road since the Fall, I hadn’t realized how much I missed it. The ground was soft and when I crested the hill I could hear the roar of the water before I could see it. Now is the time when the thaw is coming off of the hills and causing the streams and rivers to rise. On the way back I stopped and stood in front of the river, feeling the throb of it it my bones. I stared like one does when they are in the presence of art or something sacred and holy.
Nature has been and will always be that for me. In this crazy, chaotic, fearful time, walking outside resets my balance and calms my anxiety a few decibels. Winters in Vermont are infinitesimal, yet when the days become longer and the sun feels like a warm embrace, then you know the worst is behind us. But this year Spring is like a long-lost favorite relative. They pull up in the car, you open the door, embrace them and hope to goodness they will stay for a good long while.
This past week has felt like a millenium, but some things are still the same. M has his same schedule and I’m still going to work, though at this time both my library and bookstore are closed to the public. There are just a few of us there, trying to ensure that people have access to books and other materials until that, too, is deemed unsafe.
And what will happen then? No one knows. Sometimes my brain spins out to any of the three of us being deathly sick. Which could happen, and is one of my biggest fears. T is still in his apartment trying to finish up his last semester at school. I wish that he were home with us, but I understand his need to be where he is now, trying to maintain some sense of normalcy. In an effort to strive to do the same, I’m focusing on what might be seen as a positive. My introverted self feels like this may be the time to shine, because being at home is like a dream come true. But this past week, being at work without the customers or the patrons, I’ve realized how much I need those interactions. Speaking as someone who identifies as a hugger– Practicing Safe Six isn’t easy. There are other ways to keep in touch, and I’ve been checking in with friends via email. I’ve bought a new pack of postcards to send out because snailmail has always been my favorite method of communication. I don’t mind the slow(er) methods, analog anything is my preferred mode even in the best of times. I won’t lie, I like having my head free from some of the busyness that had become overwhelming. Of course it’s been replaced by a whole new type of anxiety, but I’m trying to manage that as well.
There are daily dance parties in which I choose one new song each day and dance to it. There are fun videos, like bats peeing and goats bouncing. Those big belly laughs in response to something so silly surprise and delight me. It feels like forever since I gave myself over to that unexpected joy, and when it escapes my lips I can’t help but think of my life pivoting in a tiny new direction—like my axis has tilted a millimeter for the better. It’s a constant struggle to keep the sorrow and worry at bay, but I’m gonna give it my best.
Today I saw that the daffodils and irises are peeking out of the dirt and the rhubarb has started to sprout. There will be tarts and chutneys in our future. Sometime soon the lilacs will start to bud and the air around the house will be richly perfumed. I ache for that time, it can’t come soon enough. Until then I’ll then I’ll try and be delighted with a new discovery each day, ether inside or outside. It’s a whole new world, here’s to learning to navigate it.
If you can, comment with something that’s bringing you joy. Anything you can share is deeply appreciated.
Dear a, your word for next week is Deep.