All is (not quite) right.

May 11, 2021

I said I was busy last month, but most of that was one-on-one activities with friends (or events with a defined endpoint where I couldn’t linger). Last weekend, though, I had the pleasure of going to a real live Event. It came complete with kids running across the lawn, adults from outside my “bubble”, delightful vintage items for sale, and lunch served by a local business. It was my new community in miniature, and the energy was infectious.

Thankfully, my masked and vaccinated fellow-citizens weren’t. It seems the people in my community not only care about sustainability and local food, but also the well-being of others. Whatever the future might hold, I can be thankful for this.

As we ate at tables spaced six feet apart, I couldn’t decide if I was looking at a futuristic scene or a blast from the past. Perhaps mask-wearing and social distancing have become so commonplace that they will remain a part of daily life. Or perhaps they’re a last vestige of 2020 as we nudge closer to the way things used to be. Both are valid interpretations of our present moment.

Even if COVID is here to stay, I hope to stop writing about it at some point. There’s just so much more to the place where I live, even after two months of exploration. The virus is already playing less of a role in my decisions — even as I wipe down the vintage goods I bought on Saturday, just in case.

I’m not prepared to say there’s a “silver lining” to the pandemic, as many journalists have proclaimed. But it did give rise to some good habits that I can continue to practice. Writing is one of them (if you haven’t heard about “The Driftless Grace Fund”, take a look here). It also gave rise to genuine gratitude for the things I’ve missed. May you share in the energy (and not the infection) during this time of renewal.

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