I read somewhere that March 2020 came in like a lion and stayed. So here we are, a very long and difficult year later, and the wind is gusting outside. I take a walk on a late Monday afternoon, before the sun sets, and the chill catches me by surprise. But I keep on walking. My flannel winter mask helps to warm the air I breathe.
When there’s no one else nearby, I lower my mask to inhale more freely. As soon as I see or hear someone approaching, I raise it again. I’ve gotten quite adept at moving to the opposite side of the street as another walker appears along my path. It’s all part of our learned choreography in Covid Time.
Most people I pass wear masks, too. And most everyone waves or says hello—more so than in the Before Time, when we took passersby for granted. Now, it feels all the more important to acknowledge each other when we can see only eyes.
Where snow is finally receding, mud puddles glisten in the late afternoon light. The ground looks like chocolate pudding. I inhale the earthy scent and notice a few matted blades of green where lawns have emerged from beneath their white blankets. Mourning doves coo as shadows grow long.
It’s after five o’clock when I return home, grateful for a warm kitchen, but glad that I stretched my legs and worked out the strain in my lower back from sitting too long at my computer. The sun still illuminates scudding clouds with a golden glow. I marvel that I can walk this late in daylight.
Spring is less than three weeks away, March 20. Three days later, I get my second Moderna vaccine. Then comes Passover. I mark time with ancient rituals, miraculous milestones, and the spinning of the Earth.
Image: Jock Ocularic