After yesterday’s slice, I noticed that my writing goes in and out of the reality of living through this pandemic and the beautiful things that I am grateful to have in my life. Maybe it’s an automatic defense to write about something else. Or, maybe I just need a break from this pandemic every once in a while. I’m sure when this is all over and time has spaced out our lives now from what our lives will be in the future, it will be easier to understand why. Until then, I will give myself grace and freedom to move in and out of pandemic writing.
Last night, my family and I sat and watched our local KBTX news. We watched in silence as our city's mayor shared that he declared a state of emergency for our city. With a stern face, he proceeded to tell us that it has been clear that many people are not following the “shelter in place” guidelines, then went on to explain the seriousness of this time in our city. “This is serious…” he reminded us like he has done many times before in the last few days.
“We will begin enforcing… there will be a penalty of $1,000...” he finally announced. Today, The Washington Post reported, “ federal guidance urging social distancing will stay in place through April 30… Earlier in the day Anthony S. Fauci said the United States could record 100,000 to 200,000 deaths and millions of infections, according to current but rapidly evolving projections.”
I turned off the television, and walked out into my back yard.
In moments like these, I am grateful to have a backyard to escape to for a little while. If I need an escape or if I have had enough of my indoor environment, I walk outside. Outside, my mind can be distracted for a short while to repot a plant or two, pick up some leaves, or listen to the birds carry on with life as they have always known it. There is lots of healing one can do around the sounds of nature. Then there are trees―great big trees that are much too big to wrap your arms around. There is much healing that happens when your hands are deep in soil, gloveless. The animals… where did they all come from? There are hawks out hunting, dragonflies zooming by, squirrels that challenge you to a staring competition from a far, and caterpillars are everywhere this time of year. I finished off my time picking up a few caterpillars to move them away from walking areas, so they have a chance to live.
Tomorrow, I will seek another news update. This afternoon, I enjoyed the time outside breathing fresh air and soaking in the warmth of sunlight.