About ten days ago, I got my hair highlighted at Jean Louis David. As I was leaving, I saw a friend, an older neurologist, getting his haircut and he said that his spouse was coming up to Westport the next day. A voice inside me cried, ‘Can she take me with her?’
But then I remembered my three kids and the dog we were planning to dogsit. My connections. One of my daughters was returning the next day from college and the other was uncertain if her college was going to reopen as planned.
That night I helped at the church soup kitchen. Then the kids met me and we walked to my son’s climbing wall. That was the last time we were in a group of more than our core family unit. My one daughter and I climbed very briefly, then we shopped.
And now we’ve landed here.
I think that there is something about this place in the Adirondacks. It is where we came after 9/11. It is where I was when Hurricane Sandy hit.
And when my friend Mary suggested the escape from NYC and connected with me one week ago today, I jumped. We moved up to Westport, NY on Saturday night.
Because, like with 9/11 or Hurricane Sandy, once again, the world changed over night, didn’t it?
Our indoor rock climbing jaunt was not even two weeks ago. But it was a lifetime ago. It was another world. One we knew would change. Change for good? We wait.
The climbing wall is definitely a great metaphor for this moment. ‘We grab a hold, not that one, this one. stretch this way. scamper up. use every bit of strength you have. use every possible move. like chess but with your body. find your toe hold. hang on. if you fall, land gently.’
Tough times can spark depression. It’s possible that if you’re not depressed right now, you’re not paying attention. Yes, there’s depression and there’s planning and gratitude. Of course, immensely grateful for the medical workers, grocery clerks, sanitation workers. My beautiful, crazy kids, this crazy dog.
Let me add: grateful for car rental companies and gas station attendants. I bought milk on the four or five hour trip north on Saturday night. Overflowingly grateful for my sister-in-law who’s been caring for Chris while he shelters in place in Florida with her.
Having a spouse with physical challenges is hard enough. Disability is hard enough in good times. Extra hard in tough times. Still he and I talk by phone every day. We say, I love you; It’s going to be okay.
I find comfort in the beauty and the softness of nature as the world came / comes crashing down.
I write these thoughts by setting my timer for ten minutes. Creativity and nature and community and friends will save us. They already have.
A week ago I jotted down this list:
1) write thank you notes and birthday cards 2) journal 3) make a schedule 4) eat well 5) slow down 6) take the news in small doses 7) notice nature 8) check in with the olds 9) read 10) foster an animal 11) make art.