Over the past six-plus weeks of this self-isolation, I keep getting a returning image in my head of the cartoon character with an angel over one shoulder and a devil over the other. Not a struggle of good and evil per se, but more an examination of my conscience. A call to be a good citizen, yet a strong desire to get back to my regular life, with all of the normal, good stuff that goes along with it.
I’ve heard people bitching about their rights being taken away; of feeling like prisoners in their own homes. And I get that. In many ways, I concur completely. Then there are those folks reminding everyone to selflessly sacrifice some of our everyday comforts for the greater good, and to protect the fragile, most susceptible members of our society. I get that too.
When this whole nightmare started, I jumped in with both of my gloved hands and supported the cause to contain this virus. I cleaned, disinfected, organized, and cooked up a storm. Initially, it was fun having my husband home every day to eat lunch with me, and I enjoyed posting pictures of our evening meals on social media as a means to entertain myself. Then I saw the masses of hungry, unemployed people, lined up for miles to get food from the food banks across the country. It stopped being fun showing off my culinary skills. Instead my husband and I looked for ways to contribute to the food bank and support local restaurants and businesses we patronize. This helped me feel better. A little.
The first few weeks, I talked or texted with all of my close friends. Everyone wanted to check in with one another to make certain we were all doing okay. Most resigned to a few weeks of knuckling under and riding the wave until things could improve. Now, I notice people have less to say. Although my friends and I continue to touch base, nobody appears to be too chatty. After all, what is there to talk about? No one is doing anything much. And dear God, it keeps raining.
Finally, after a plethora of rainy days, the weather cleared enough to mow the grass. Hallelujah! An outdoor activity to pass the time. Growing up in my family, mowing the grass was a multi-generational, unisex chore. Dad was particular about how the lawn was mowed. He had no qualms chasing after the mower, shouting instructions and correcting ones’ form. Maybe that’s why I like to mow the grass. Whenever I do, it reminds me of my father, and the many times he tried to improve my mowing skills. Today would be his 96th birthday. If I could, I’d mow the grass in his memory. But it’s raining. Again.
As the days continue to morph one into the next, most of my friends find themselves in a dormant phase. Going through the motions of life without feeling as though we’re participating. As time ticks on, I see tempers flaring, patience waning, and the evil twin over my shoulder nudging me to kick the nice one off permanently. But I can’t let that happen. Yet. At least not without a mask.
Hear my plea, Lord. I think we’re all ready to come out of this hibernation phase of life. And please, Dear God, let it feel like spring. Amen.