Back by popular demand and coronavirus be damned! I’m thrilled to have Dina Corcoran as today’s guest blogger. Dina’s work inspires me to find the beauty and good in any situation—excuse me while I put on IZ’s CD and contemplate rejoining my “treasures” when the pandemic is over.
Old Toll Road is not a busy road under normal conditions, but under this lockdown it appears abandoned. Alan and I walk it every day, and as we round a bend, we come upon a field of lupines and poppies busy being glorious—no one to notice them, except for us.
A face appears, smiling a greeting from on high. It’s the bee lady, up in the apple tree manipulating a pair of loppers as she prunes, surrounded by a few friendly bees. That’s it. The only contact we have on the whole walk.
Back at home, the warm gentleness of IZ’s Hawaiian music soothes me. I play it on Spotify to make it all go away—and it almost works. IZ’s soft voice rolls over me like waves of the ocean. When the waves break and calm down again, peace will reign.
My daughter Kim comes for weekly visits. We sit outside on the deck, fifteen feet apart to maintain social distancing, and chat. She doesn’t even think of coming inside the house. An attorney, she still has cases at her job; others at her firm have been let go, and she gets their work. This is sad for them, but a relief for her. She can continue making the payments on the house she just bought. She enjoys working at home and being with her twin sons who must continue their college classes now via remote learning.
My son is an “essential” worker in Southern California for Cal-Trans. He keeps the freeways functioning. With most everyone off the roads, the speed-demons have taken over, and its common for drivers to go 95 m.p.h. and crash into things. His mother worries about him hanging from light poles or overhangs, fixing the electricity, with this going on. But he continues to get a paycheck.
Since we are over sixty-five, Alan and I are allowed to Email our grocery list to Cal-Mart, charge it, and have our purchases loaded into the car behind the store. No social interaction. When we get home, we don disposable gloves to unpack our supplies so we can wipe them down with a bleach solution. (Fresh produce gets scrubbed in the sink with water.) As they sit in the sun to dry, we notice that certain items have been left off the list—there’s never any toilet paper.
My friends are tucked away like treasure to be saved for later. Except for the occasional phone call, we don’t see each other anymore. This virus! Gisela sits alone in a big house, since her husband died. She is saved by her German inclination to abide by a housekeeping schedule. Tuesday is laundry day. Every day has its own obligation. Her week has structure. Minna, from my book club, sips wine and reads Proust.
We all cope in our own way.