We have a lot to say. And nothing to say.
A pandemic has interrupted our usual topics, scattering them asunder. If we talk about our family members on the health front line, we sound anxious and spread worry. If we admit to each other we are afraid, we imagine we are selfish, since we have more security than most people. If we rail against the inequities in society, we flail at windmills.
We don’t want to upset each other. We want to shore each other up.
Like the time…
When we were driving through a thick fog. Keep going, I’ll watch the line along the shoulder for you.
When we drove accidentally into swirling winds later reported at 70 mph. Keep going, I’ll watch for flying objects.
When we hiked up a steep mountain from Lake Louisa in Alberta. Keep going. We can do it. I will rest with you.
When I got lost in the Rockies on a solo hike. Keep going. We will talk you out. I’m waiting for you.
When we faced open heart surgery. Keep going. We are waiting for you. I’m here for you.
And then suddenly we lose it. From no where comes a “I-cant-stand-it-moment!” The go into the closet and scream moment, the throw a magazine moment, or worse, a flying tool incident.
Followed by laughter. The get a grip aftermath. The what’s wrong with us? reflection.
There was a time when we hungered for a vacation in fresh surroundings where we would rise and plan a good day together. We’ve done that: in Spain, in Italy, in Mexico, Alaska, at the beach, in the mountains. Now, here we are with the rise and plan a good day together circumstances in familiar territory, our own home sweet home.
We entertain each other with silliness. Herb pretends to fish in the pond. He brings me an oversized doll with whom I have coffee and conversation. We play what did we accomplish today games. We send silly ideas to our bored grandchildren. We parody our fears. We talk about nothing, the color of a bird, the shape of clouds, the weeds in the asphalt cracks, the strength of the ice tea.
We sort photos, purge stuff, learn to groom the dog, write on our never to be published books. I work on a painting. He builds birdhouses. We dig holes and plant vegetables and shrubs. We buy and plant a tree.
We cry. Our eyes suddenly fill with tears. Unbidden. Triggered by a voice, a story, an image. Normally, we do not cry. We voice.
We have rules. Masks. Hand Sanitizer. Six feet apart or more. Social Isolation prevention. We need them, are committed to the cause, but we don’t like them. We don’t like not seeing the faces of people, not embracing them, not touching.
We pray. For everyone, everything. The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…This we can do, over and over and over while we wait and do what we can. We are not alone.
It’s all so ordinary, and yet not.