Today the first person that I knew personally died from Covid-19. His wife is now symptomatic and in isolation while grieving her lifelong companion. He was older. He had a lung condition. I hadn’t seen him in over a year (possibly more). But the news still struck hard.
And in a strange juxtaposition, today was the first truly gorgeous day since Indiana first encouraged social distancing. So today, after only having 823 steps on my fitness tracker, I decided to go on a walk. And what I found was beautiful and uplifting.
Despite the scary nature of the world right now, the neighborhoods around my house were a flurry of activity- all with social distancing, of course. I saw two teenagers long boarding down the middle of the street; five people cleaning out their garages; eight planting, weeding, or mowing; three cleaning out vehicles; nine dog walkers; a mom using sidewalk chalk with her small children, and five sets of neighbors talking to each other from their driveways.
Everyone was smiling. People were talking to people they normally might not have even looked at- including me. I am (sadly) one of those people who does the closed mouth smile when passing strangers. An introvert when it comes to conversation, I am constantly afraid of saying something stupid, so I don’t say anything at all. But today I found myself talking to people I’d never seen before – as I walked into the street to maintain the six feet rule.
And I smiled. I didn’t want to walk to end. So I kept walking. Normally I walk the same circle of the neighborhood, but today I just kept going and I found myself a little saddened when my feet led me back to my own home.
I am not the nature photographer that my blogger friend Jerry is, but I took a shot today that seemed fitting.
The start of new life despite being surrounded by the talk of contagion and death. New life.
I’m sure when we all emerge from this, and I hope that all of my readers do just that, life will continue. We will have learned some things (both fortunate and unfortunate) about each other and ourselves. I will learn that having more time doesn’t mean I’ll read more. I’ve learned that I don’t need iced mochas like I thought I did. And I’ve learned of the ugliness in humanity, even from people I know and love, that can come from situations like this.
However, most importantly I have learned that there are some immensely generous and selfless people are out there as well. And those people are the ones that I hope I’ll remember years from now when this has calmed down and is a distant memory. I choose to remember the beauty in humanity and strive to be more like them.