On April Fool’s Day, we had more snow than at anytime in the middle of the winter–well, almost. And, it snowed again yesterday morning. Looking out my front door, I thought of the bubonic plague and how in homes that were infected, big black crosses were painted on their doors. That was in one of my low moments. Later in the week, on cold afternoon walks, I spotted budding daffodils and buttercups peeking out in a sunny spot, and watched a fat robin tug a huge worm up out of the snow. And, this morning, the nearly full supermoon–the biggest and brightest of 2020–was reflected in the water all the way across the lake. I sat in the dark with my first cup of coffee, and watched dots of light bounce on the ripples. That was one of the high moments.
I would guess that for those of us who are fortunate enough to just stay at home, we ride a daily, weekly, now monthly roller coaster of emotional highs and lows. For at least a week, I’ve been focused on Joy’s frantic effort to return with her family from Finland. There have been lows when flights were cancelled, highs when they made it to Seattle last night. The rest of the family was online together yesterday afternoon, playing funny games on a video conference call, and we talked about them being in flight across the ocean, and how happy and relieved we were that they are nearly home. When I awakened today, I learned that their flight to Kalispell this morning was cancelled. If the one this evening still goes, they will finally be back to Montana to settle into their airbnb for the 14-day quarantine. There’s always the option of renting a car. And, so it goes, highs and lows.
As another week begins, I’m resolving to make some adjustments. I really do need to avoid spending so much time at the computer, reading horrible news reports. I intend to stay informed, but when I feel my heart begin to race and that knot in my stomach, it’s time to back away. I’m reading three fabulous books right now, including my latest children’s book, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, described as “an achingly beautiful story” about a china rabbit. Soup simmering on the stove, a cup of tea, and a great book, is medicine for the soul right now. The weather forecast calls for a couple of typical April days at the start of this week with light rain here and there, and the temperature reading this morning was back above freezing. A front is due to blow in tomorrow afternoon, bringing temperatures on Thursday to possibly 60 degrees. Won’t that be grand! Step by step we go.
Carol forwarded me a lovely passage from the novel, The Room of Ancient Keys, by Elena Mikhalkova, and I’ve taped it on my refrigerator as a gentle reminder each morning of how to move forward in this time of coronavirus.
Do what you have to do, but little by bit.
Don’t think about the future, not even what might happen tomorrow. Wash the dishes.
Take off the dust.
Write a letter.
Make some soup.
Do you see?
You are moving forward step by step.
Take a step and stop.
Get some rest.
Take another step.
Then another one.
You won’t notice, but your steps will grow bigger and bigger.
And time will come when you can think about the future without crying. Good morning.”