This year will be year two of the pandemic. And to be certain, we are better off than before.
Listen to me. Like I know. I don’t. I don’t know. My family didn’t lose jobs, we didn’t lose family, we made do as everyone did, with less to distract us, possibly annoy us. We did just fine. Yes, we experienced an uptick in anxiety, maybe an uptick in depression. But we did fine.
Last year at this time, we were a thousand miles away in a different state. With all of us distance, we each took our few favorite things and drove down highway 35 for seventeen hours. And miraculously, we bypassed, somehow, all the winter troubles of last year, and ended up someplace with a taco truck down the street and a hot tub on the deck. For six weeks: warm hikes and dark sky sanctuaries. 45 days, sunny and temperate.
It made pandemic feel possible. Humane.
We walked everyday. We sat in the sun to do homework, to flip through flashcards. We grilled. And I found a grocery store with a coffee that I thought was terrific, like bananas terrific. Completely delightful.
And three days ago, I found it here, in the great wide north. So I made it today. And the moment I took a sip, I was instantly gone. Back there. But I wasn’t feeling sun on my face and guac on tacos. No. I was fumbling over words, trying to explain the images I was seeing, searching for understanding. The riots in Washington and seeing folks bleed through the place I had always been assured was the best way to create change– it got to me. And the only way for us to see it was on some conservative station I’ve never seen before. So we watched and we did our best to explain. And a couple of weeks later, I cried straight through the Inauguration.
Only to laugh along with everyone else at Bernie, his mittens crossed.