Thursday morning, I thought of a title for my latest (this is it) post: Hope in the Time of Pandemic. At 9:30 A.M. while Arlington County staff and volunteers were restoring native habitat in a corner of a little park [Benjamin Banneker Park) formerly covered with invasive bamboo, this self-assured title sounded about right.
A few hours later, I decided that my nod to Garcia Marquez was too flippant when more than 250,000 people have died in our country. So, I thought I would call this article Hope and I wished that word would be appropriate and accurate.
Then, Thursday afternoon the news came about the mess in certifying the Wayne County, Michigan presidential votes. I took this issue to heart; I was born in Wayne County. I did not feel hopeful at all. Now, I didn’t have a name for this piece I was trying to write.
And so it has gone these last months: I am hopeful; I despair. My mind, heart, and gut seesaw.
Friday and today, Saturday, November 21, I feel more balanced. I am seeing the hopeful signs again: in my family and friends, in nature, even (sometimes) in the news.
I realized, again, that I do better when I am close to the ground. When I tuck in the native plants, cold soil invigorates my senses and my hope revives. The fall palette–heavy on yellows and browns–calms my soul. In the evening, the early darkness comforts me. The concurrent bonus for this early darkness is that Tom and I watch beautiful dawns from our living room almost every morning.
My condolences to the families and friends of those who have fallen ill and died. My thanks to all those helpers out there. Like Mr. Rogers’ mother told him to do, I do look for the helpers and I see them out there all around.