Like many of us,I am finding this corona virus thing hard. Daily media events are blasted at us, people are dying,people are sick and some continue to not to be able to say goodbye to their loved ones. This is all heartbreaking. I continue to ache for the victims of this disease and their loved ones. And for essential workers. ( Including my youngest son who works with developmentally disabled people but he likes his job and is taking all the precautions).
I miss my family. I haven’t seen my daughter and son-in-law since the beginning of March nor my oldest son and daughter-in- law and grandson since the beginning of February. We’re staying safe as a family, not wanting to give the virus to each other. I see my youngest son now and then, but we are pretty careful since he is an essential worker. I miss seeing my friends and just giving someone a hug.
Compared to a lot of people, though, I’m pretty lucky. I’m safe, I’m healthy, I have enough food to eat. I have friends and family I can call, or “Zoom” with. I love my nature walks I take with one friend at a time, socially distancing. I’m also not on the front lines, and helping those who are so sick, at a great sacrifice.
It has always given me joy to do things for others. I feel a loss that my volunteer jobs are cancelled. So last week I delivered two challahs (special bread for the Jewish Sabbath) to two different people that I knew could use a boost. It was a good thing for both of us.
This week I brought food to the Wilton food pantry that I didn’t need. I sometimes volunteer there. I was amazed at the line up of cars waiting to get food. At least I did something. Not enough, but something. Today I gave two facial masks that I made to friends. They really appreciated them, and I know they have been holding so many other people up. So I wanted to do something for them. I also dropped off some masks I made to a neighbor who is organizing donations of masks locally, as well as to Native American tribes and the National Guard.
Little things, little blessings I’ve found to make a brighter tomorrow. And I’m beginning to see the somewhere over the rainbow.
The other night there was a pretty sunset. I thought about that for a moment, about how sometimes the little beautiful things can create quietude and wonder. There was also a beautiful supermoon last night- very bright and it seemed to have a red glow on the outer edges. I was happy just looking at it.
The past two days have been the beginning of passover- the traditional seders where we have symbolic foods, and celebrate with family and friends by reading the Haggadah, and have a festive dinner. In truth, I have been kind of dreading these days with the necessity of being alone, and not celebrating with family and friends like we usually do.
But, instead I find that I have been delighting in surprises. A zoom pre-seder conversation with one of my best friends did wonders for my soul. And tonight my family and I are going to have a seder across the miles by using zoom. A temple member delivered the foods that I would have had at her house- so I could enjoy them. That was so kind and appreciated. I also received a surprise book in the mail today from a friend called “Finding Dorothy”. She wrote “This is about strong NYS women. While you are staying at home, you can travel back in history”. How kind! I had downloaded the app “Libby” from our library, but it will be so nice to have a real book in my hands to read. I also got to know one of my neighbors a little better by helping her to make masks for the workers who are helping the homeless, and people at Bridges. That was a nice little surprise benefit.
Maybe the lesson from this virus thing is to treasure our family, friends, and nature. (I’ve been taking a lot of nature walks, either by myself or socially distancing with one person). I sure hope there is a light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime, I will take the moments of suprise and wonder that I can get.
There’s no doubt these are uncertain times. People are getting sick, and even some are drawing their last breath. My heart aches for many and somehow the inconvenience of “suiting up” ie. wearing gloves and wiping down the grocery cart today doesn’t seem so bad. Health care workers are putting their lives on the line every single day, along with essential workers. For that, they have my gratitude.
I vacillate between getting somewhat discouraged, as I live alone. But I also am buoyed by others, keeping in touch via zoom or snowshoeing or walking at a distance. My family are all safe and healthy, and for that I am grateful. Right now, I can’t see my kids or grandson, as I am at “that age”. And we could infect each other. Many of us are in the same boat. I’m staying home, creating by quilting and writing. And even cleaning. And I’m planning a special event for a family member.
Today I walked with a neighbor at a distance, and we stood by a little pond and heard the spring peepers, and a sound we couldn’t distinguish. It was a croaking sound, not sure if it was ducks or if was frogs. But it was lovely to feel the sunshine and listen to the sounds of spring. It was pure hope.
Yesterday I took on a walk on Spring Run, a little trail that is by a brook. I’ve been a little a stir crazy, as the events I had been planning on going to have been cancelled due to the virus. It is kind of a strange place to be in right now, with so many people being worried about getting exposed and getting sick.
As I usually do, I turn to nature. This past week I saw a robin, the first one I had seen this season. I am thinking positively, and think this too will pass. I participated in an online service for our Temple on Friday, and the rabbi read a poem about holding others in our heart, (instead of holding them physically), and telling them how much they mean to us. A good thing to do.
I hope that you have a good week, have hope in your heart, and are able to share your hope and love with those that are dear to you.
This past weekend, I went to my Grandson Rafael’s third birthday party celebration. It was a lot of fun, with energy, and smiles and some tears as three year olds do. The smiles are precious! I love Grandson tickles. I also went on a short snowhoe with my oldest son under the stars. We could see Orion, with his three belt of stars. It was a perfect weekend.
Last week, I went on a beautiful snowshoe hike with my snowshoeing group in the Adirondacks at Garnet Hill in North River. It was particularly beautiful, as the snow was still clinging to the trees- sheer whiteness; a winter wonderland. It was on New Year’s Day- a great way to start the new year. There have been several troubling events of late, and I find that being outside particularly with like minded souls that enjoy nature helps to soothe my soul and spirit. Once again, the powdery whiteness and exercise and cool air filling my lungs did the trick. I could breathe in the beauty, and think somehow it will be okay. It was for the moment, and it will be, somehow.
A few weeks, I went quilt fabric hopping with friends. ( For those of you who are not quilters, it means going to one quilt fabric store to another in search of fabrics). It turned out that many of the fabric stores were closed, it being a Monday. We laughed- I called it the mid life shoppers trip- we didn’t care, we just wanted to have fun, which we did. The Vermont country store was open, and I asked if they had angel chimes. They did.
Seeing them glowing, I am so glad. The angel Gabriel whirls around, with the slight heat of the candles causing him (or her) to swirl. It is a relic from my childhood, and memories of beautiful wondrous Christmases. Now, I celebrate Channukkah, but the angels are universal celebrating hope and wonder. I am watching the candles tonight and am grateful for their charm and anticipation of the season of light. I wish you the joy and peace of this wondrous season, and if not I do wish you a little of the light that shines.
Today I took a walk with my dog Trixie after the two day snowstorm. When I came back, I let Trixie run around in our yard, which she loves to do. As she was gallivanting around, I paused to look at the Gabriel’s horn weathervane which I have in my backyard. It was beautiful against the snow, with the morning light filtering through. What a delight!
I am in the midst of making some big decisions, none of them life threatening, just big. Taking a moment to look at the snow, and the angel Gabriel gave me a moment to gather strength. Things work out, they always do. My family and friends and the work I do to make the world a little better are my angels. And the peace I have when I look at nature is all I need to say, okay, you can do this. Yes I can- and I will.
Last night, I attended services at a temple in Troy. It was an intimate gathering, with dinner and song. It was lovely.
At the beginning of the service, the leader asked us to bless each other, and we were to ask our partner what they would like to be blessed for. I started, and I said I hoped he had a good week, and be blessed for a good shabbat, and all of the good things.
He started to tell me how he had lost his partner, about a year ago. I listened, said “I’m so sorry”. He showed me a picture of his love, and I shared how I had lost my love years ago. We talked, and listened to each other, and he said he was sorry, too. I said “it will get better, I know”. He finished by asking me “do you have anything you want to be blessed for?” I said, I shook my head and said, “I have a lot of blessings”.
And so it was. Two people who didn’t know each sharing blessings, and hope. And now, we each walk on our paths, each a little lighter because of our beautiful encounter.