May 2, 2021
It feels like I just made the switch to a 2021 calendar, and suddenly I’m turning the page from April to May.
The April that just ended couldn’t have been more different than the earlier one chronicled on this blog. I had much more of a social life and went to many more events (it’s not hard to be more than zero). Although we’re not out of the woods, it was the closest yet to anything resembling normal around here. The lessening of worries is almost tangible.
All the same, COVID precautions are second nature for me. I remember putting on my first mask about a year ago and staring in the mirror at my half-visible face. I was just getting used to this new reality the last time the crabapples bloomed, the last time I went looking for pasque flowers, the last time I planted a garden. Now, as the seasons turn again, masks are a part of my everyday life — and my overloaded coat rack.
I’ve been thinking back to that time and realizing there was a strange stability to it all. Although no one knew how long the lockdowns would last, we basically knew what to do and not do. Our collective task was just to knuckle down and get through it. For those of us not employed as essential workers (or at all), the special circumstances gave some relief from guilt about not getting enough done.
Now that things are closer to the way they were, the old timetables have asserted themselves again. And yet, not one person on Earth knows what’s going to happen next. That comforting dullness is gone.
Neither do I have the answers. But I vow to enjoy the things I’ve missed twice as much (and twice as safely) as I did before I missed them.