Growing up I remember the older folks around us saying frequently, “Count your blessings.” This came back to me recently because the news is so bleak. It’s all the sky is falling, the sky is falling. Oh it didn’t fall yesterday but today for sure. Or maybe not today but definitely in the Fall! Everywhere folks are lamenting “the COVID-19 outbreak has changes lives ways that were previously unimaginable.”
This week I decide to both count my blessings and look at the unimaginable ways life has changed, all with an eye to the silver lining of this all.
I wake up in the morning next to a man who has been at my side for twenty-four years, in a room flooded with sunlight in a house I love. Birds sing on the other side of the window as the dogs snore gently.
Life has changed…
When I go outside, there are kids learning to ride their bikes up and down our street. This seems to be strictly the domain of dads. Some of the kids we’d only ever seen as they waved hello or goodbye from the child seat in the back of their parents’ cars. And I’d certainly never seen a kid riding a bike up and down our street before. On our walks, we’ve met dogs we’ve known for years but only ever saw alone barking in fenced yards. Now they riotously drag their reluctant owners down the street exploring sights and sounds they’d only witnessed through squares of fencing. I see young people, looking bewildered and slightly bored, holding hands and walking around the neighborhood staring at houses and stopping to examine gardens.
Everything has slowed down. In the mornings, our walks take longer; I can stop chatting with neighbors instead of waving and shouting, “I have a train to catch,” before running off dragging the dogs behind me. The dogs seem to have picked up on this new leisurely pace, stopping to sniff more and walking slower.
A few year back our neighborhood saw a bitter dispute between folks who wanted to put a playground in our open park, arguing that kids needed equipment to play, and others who argued kids simply needed open space and their imaginations would furnish the equipment. At some point an agreement was reached; a “natural” playground would be built. Then as so often happens, the project stalled because, well money. Playgrounds of the imagination cost nothing but playgrounds with equipment cost a bundle. Now the playgrounds are all padlocked. As I walk by and see scores of kids running around playing games in the park, I wonder if their parents see the irony.
I have had the same twenty-dollar bill in my wallet for nine weeks. With nowhere to go and no daily trip to the office, I have nothing to spend money on. Also, I have an additional $105 a month because if I’m not going into work every day, so I don’t need a SEPTA rail pass.
We have two sets of new neighbors. They moved in the middle of the pandemic. A gentle reminder that life goes on, that life shall continue, maybe different from before but continue it will.
My husband cut off all his hair then took apart our washing machine to replace a part—after watching a video on YouTUBE. It didn’t work out quite as he’d expected. Silver lining? Because I’m working from home, I was able to capture it all. He’ll never live this down.
See life is full of silver linings. We just have to look for them.
Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash