March 18: It’s 11:10 am, I’m glued to my laptop, and I see a fox trot down the street in front of our house. She’s alongside the curb, as though on a leash for a brisk walk. Or like a metro commuter worried about missing her train. (Oh my: 12:17 pm: here she is again, trotting across my lawn in the same direction. Maybe she wanted to be sure I saw her luscious tail.)
March 19: Everyone seems to be walking. After a very long day coiled over my laptop, I took a walk too. Two walks, actually: a lovely afternoon one through the neighborhood and a lively morning walk to an indoor exercise DVD I haven’t used in a while. March, kicks, side steps and knee lifts in many variations, along with a resistance band, got me sweating. Five miles on Saturday?? You bet.
March 20: One of Kevin’s colleagues, in a literary master-stoke, invited a group of friends to unite for an hour to tell stories over Zoom. The prompt: the kindness of a stranger. We might have been seven women and three men, as in Boccaccio’s Decameron, but our plague-fleeing stories consistently showed tiny acts of tenderness. Now those strangers have brightened my life too. Who would you invite to such storytelling? What story would you tell?
March 21: It’s Saturday morning and I’m in the garden cleaning autumn leaves, pruning deadwood and wondering whether those bright green patches are weeds or forget-me-nots. (I can’t recall.) My favorite: the strong pink and green tips of Solomon Seal emerging from forgotten places. Welcome, spring!
March 22: I miss church. (Although I feel like I’m praying constantly.) I got a little closer to worship this morning by reading this article, written by Kevin’s colleague Benjamin Pratt. It describes another pandemic and the iconic hymn that miraculously sprung from it, Now Thank We All Our God. Thanksgiving? Amen.
March 22: Today for the first time I “Zoomed” into my studio’s morning yoga class. My comfy sun-bright bedroom provided a nice environment. A double carpet soothed my knees. Downward facing dogs revealed a forest of tree tops tangled in the window panes. Planks reminded me of odd boxes scattered in corners and under dressers. And the sunshine made centering a delight. At the end, our teacher unmuted her class to allow us to share an Om. As we finished, a toddler’s voice piped up: “What was that?! What was that?! I want to do that again!” Indeed.
March 23; On All Things Considered tonight, I savored a rebroadcast of a lovely interview with Ross Gay, the author of The Book of Delights and the inspiration for my own Delights entries. He peppers his book with ephemeral and recurring moments of kindness, noticing, and loving. We will not be defeated.
(If you’re tempted to order it, find an Independent Bookstore, like my own One More Page: still offering books, chocolate & wine — for takeout & delivery!)
March 24: I watched the day arrive today along the limbs of our wintering crepe myrtle. The light changed moment by moment, as I looked away and then returned my gaze. Sometimes I’m too distracted by the showy, glorious, sunrise horizon to notice the quiet beauty of light filling ordinary things.
“Morning,” by Elizabeth Stamper
A small seabird circles the sky. She is pulling back the clouds, undraping the day.
And it never occurs to her that she is too small for such an awesome task.
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