And How Does That Make You Feel?

May 25, 2020

The specter of my job starting up again has caused a flurry of commitments to appear on my calendar. Not all of them are work-related, but their net effect is that I feel my free time slipping away.

If I’m being honest, the past two or three weeks have been the hardest stretch of this lockdown. Feelings that I’ve been dreading have finally landed and settled in my brain. They are the effects of physical isolation from the people and places I Iove. Why I haven’t succumbed to them until now, I couldn’t say. The initial shock and the novelty of moving may have combined to keep April relatively carefree. Maybe it’s good that I’m returning to work and society now, before I get bogged down further.

The rest of me doesn’t think so. I prize my routine and the ability to do what I want when I want. The Routine has continued apace during these dreary few weeks. Case in point: I started this blog post last night after my evening walk, which I have yet to tire of despite taking the same route every day.

In patrolling my territory, I came upon some stems of dame’s rocket, which is Public Enemy No. 1 this time of year. Its purple flowers taunted me from a patch about the size of my car. I considered pulling them, though I was overheated from my walk. One small heroic deed in these dark times. But then I looked up to see that the whole woods was purple with a dame’s rocket understory. Instantly, the darkness of these times rendered futile any good deed I might have done.

It does seem that a little brain stimulation is in order. I’ll go to work again, try my best. In time I will have carved out a new routine. I’m not likely to forget these days of strange freedom, of letters and replies (keep ’em coming, folks!), of walks that are routine and not an occasion. Whatever comes next, I am better for having been stuck with myself these past two months.

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