There are not many markers along the way during months of sheltering in place during a pandemic. But because ours began on Friday, March 13, and today it’s Friday November 13, it seemed an occasion worth noting. Little has changed for David and me during these 8 months but the seasons. We began this in late winter, made it through the entirety of spring and summer, and now we’re into late fall. This morning we celebrated (not sure that’s exactly the word I want) by taking yet another hike through a Cleveland Metropark. It’s been our Covid practice at least once, if not twice, weekly. It was a brisk 45 degrees this morning with a stiff breeze felt near the Lake, but not bad for mid-November. In a normal year, I’d be looking forward to hibernating inside, reading books in front of the fireplace and cooking. But I’ve had plenty of time for that during the last 8 months, so this winter I’m committed to spending as much time outdoors as I can stand. I’ll cook and read when I come back indoors.
Because when I’m outdoors I
… think less about what I’m missing, what I can’t do and who I can’t see.
… listen to tweeting birdsong, rather than being angry at the other kind.
… resist any temptation to buy expensive pointed-toe colored flats (I think they’re called Rothy’s) and instead am so glad I bought a good pair of wide toe-box hiking boots.
… appreciate free access to a Great Lake and urban forests minutes from our home.
… celebrate having a body that despite being an aging one is still agile enough to walk and climb.
… realize that it’s been months since I carried a purse, but my backpack is getting lots of use.
…say to myself: so OK we’re not going to a chic restaurant (ever again?) but our backyard birds keep us entertained through the window while we’re dining at home. The birds are eating better than ever with peanuts, sunflower seed, suet, and thistle, and they don’t seem to mind being watched.
… realized today that wearing a mask keeps your face warm on a chilly day (Yay!)
… see enough other people to know that I’m not alone. When hiking, there’s a natural social distance, and I acknowledge our solidarity with a wave and a smile they can’t see but I hope they know it’s there behind my mask.
… though there is no end in sight to the pandemic, when you walk a loop trail, you know when you’re done!
… am so very grateful for our health — physical and mental — and recommit myself to doing what it takes as long as is necessary to stay healthy.
… hope and pray that by the next Friday the 13th which comes in August 2021, our country will have strong leadership in place, a citizenry who look out for each other, and a vaccine that is accessible to all who need it.
May God continue to guide us through these months of pandemic with extra blessings on those essential workers who risk their own health to get us through.