All right, things have gotten sort of strange.
A few days ago, my county came out with additional restrictions that include prohibitions on trails, beaches, and other spaces. I believe in the limits and believe they’re there for good reason, but not going where I love to walk is admittedly an adjustment, albeit a small one.
Still, I crave being outside (while of course social distancing), so early this morning, I put in my headphones and went for an hour-long stroll. And I thought, as I walked, about how beauty isn’t just found in the ocean or in the woods.
It’s in town too, in people’s gardens and in the symmetry of power lines and in the reflection of the sunrise in a wayward puddle of water.
It’s in the orange stripe of nasturtium creeping out from a garden to lay (lie?) on the sidewalk and it is definitely in the camaraderie of mismatched, neighboring trees.
It’s in the way that morning lends its long light to the grasses falsely contained by fence posts, and it’s in the lonely and untouched rows of train tracks cutting through a quiet town.
It’s in the way that strangers wave to one another from outside opposite boundaries of the same sidewalk, one venturing into the empty street to avoid the other, both seeming to brighten a bit at the recognition of someone else living at this time, sharing this moment, when so very much is upside down. Smiles are still permitted.
I worry about what’s happening, of course. A stroll through town doesn’t change the fact that I haven’t slept well in weeks. But it helps. These days are indeed strange and likely to get more so; it feels that much more important to thus take our joy where we can find it.
Alongside fears and anxiety, alongside uncertainty and caution, I hope we can carry gratitude and curiosity, still.