Day 13: Just Getting Started

This morning I am thinking about timing.  I wonder how I would be handling this Stay Home, Stay Healthy state-wide mandate if it happened in any other decade.  I can imagine each decade in my timeline offering a different challenge and benefit to withstanding a pandemic.  My finances have the character of the Wheel of Fortune- rotating around, up and down, ebb and flow.  However, is there ever a good time for a pandemic?

Thinking about the calendar, happy Palm Sunday for those that observe. Many Christians in my state find it interesting that the mandate started during Lent.  Lent is traditionally 40 days long, in commemoration of the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, before beginning his public ministry, during which he endured temptation by Satan.  The time in the desert prepared Christ for the cross.  Modern followers look inward and prepare their hearts for the coming Christ, on Resurrection Day (Easter).  What a great metaphor for our current situation!

Wondering how THINGS will change on May 5th, when the mandate is over.  A better question is how will PEOPLE to change.  How?  I do not know.  Will folks be more aware, more calm, centered and stronger.  Hoping I will be.  Perhaps, for some, who the pandemic is testing their character and resourcefulness, maybe, in June, when the relief checks show up and the cupboards are full again, perhaps then, they will have the time to look back on April and realize they walked through fire and lived.

One thing is for sure, this is the truth, NONE of us will be the same after this.

1) an observed joy- The food bank in my town is delivering boxes of food to folks in need!

2) a real concern- Watching the national news the other day, they headlined with “A worldwide record. America has the most with the coronavirus!”  Selling fear is not helpful.  This is NOT the number of folks dead like they made it sound.  We are testing MORE people than in other countries at this time.

3) a personal challenge- Finding reliable information for local and statewide is a challenge.  My confidence in our nation’s leaders is almost non-existence.  I do not like the way they are handling the pandemic.

4) one personal success (no matter how small)- I am still writing my journal.

5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- Always in motion, we are.  I stayed inside all day yesterday.  I haven’t done that since October 2018 when I was recovering from a car accident.

Worldwide, as of this post: 1.26 million tested positive (reported),
68,935 are deceased.
Coronavirus Dashboard

Guest Poet: Denise duMaurier

Snowdrop

A daystar opened in my row
of dead leaves pallid from the wind
a golden center ready for the slug
that finds it blind and eats it whole.
Feet that feel no miracles will
stomp on it thinking it a weed
in the way of clearing fallen bark
and broken twigs that quit the tree.
January snowdrop white as milk
glows like fairy-light on the foggiest
morning of the week frosted in the
polar vortex, born again.

~Denise duMaurier

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Poet Bio:

Born in Pennsylvania and educated in England, Denise duMaurier worked as a stage actor in character roles for more than 50 years. Her love of poetry began with wonderful roles from the “SH-guys:” Shakespeare, Sheridan, Shaw. Her latest book, Follow Me Down, contains poems of tribute, remembrance and aging, most written in Minneapolis, MN, before moving to Bellingham, WA, in the spring of 2010, to escape Minnesota’s winters.

Village Books is pleased to carry copies of Denise’s poetry books Follow Me Down and Abandoning the Raft. Please call 360-671-2626 to obtain copies.

***

~Thank you Denise for allowing me to post this beautiful, fresh new poem on my blog.  When you shared it with me the other day at our Saturday brunch, I was moved.  If it wasn’t for the noise of the cafe, people may have heard me sniffing tears away.  It touched my heart as your poetry often does.  
Great stuff!  –Shannon


***

Winter Prayer

This morning the sky changed.  The wind came from a different direction than what I was used to, catching me by surprise and creating a sense of curiosity within me.  The trees I walked under moved and swayed to the song of the wind, making for a lovely dance.  The wind combed threw the branches and low lying bushes to grab up the dead and recently fallen, blowing them around in whirlwinds.

A curious thing to watch the wind.  It’s true you cannot see IT but only what it DOES.  My skin grows wrinkled and dry by it; my hair lifts and twirls falling into my eyes.  “Don’t look at me, just feel me” it says, “I’ve come to wash off that which is dead and refresh you for a cold winter, to prepare you for a new spring.  Your days of summer lying in a warm breeze will return, but first you must feel me against your face.  Feel me hit your heart, swooping in deeper than any soap, cleansing your soul with hope renewed.”

Hope gets us through the winter.  How sad for those in the dark age when the world seem a constant winter.  Perhaps they had forgotten what spring flowers smelt like or the hot rays of the summer sun on their face.  If winter last too long the heart will stay cold, frost bitten, hard.

Prayer
Fall wind please blow on me and release from me the dead and dying parts.  Twirl them up to the sky, lay them on the ground, churn them into soil, all that death is good for.
Take those parts from me so that I might see spring again.
I will not forget the flowers
I will not forget the summer sun.
I will not forget the green grass and the lazy days lying beside a lover

Blow wind blow!
Do your worst so that my reward will be greater!

***
Came across this poem from Winter 2011.  It’s only October but had to re-post.

Poetry: September Bellingham

Down the hill my city sits
Waves nip at its hair
Freeway scratches the belly
Mountains hold down its hip
Low mist rolled in early,
refuses to leave this cove
Down into the clouds I walk,
floating up into a subdued world
Here exhales are marked,
Talk can be seen
Sun baths buildings
in a peach-warm glow
as it fights the floating moisture
that crowns my
September Bellingham
Noon-thirty,
visibility still only four blocks.
The sun burns while seagulls
dance in the sky

Photo by Matthew Anderson/WWU
Bellingham in morning fog, September 2012

***



Poetry: Winter Prayer

This morning the sky changed.  The wind came from a different direction than what I was used to, catching me by surprise and creating a sense of curiosity within me.  The trees I walked under moved and swayed to the song of the wind, making for a lovely dance.  The wind combed threw the branches and low lying bushes to grab up the dead and recently fallen, blowing them around in whirlwinds.

A curious thing to watch the wind.  It’s true you cannot see IT but only what it DOES.  My skin grows wrinkled and dry by it; my hair lifts and twirls falling into my eyes.  “Don’t look at me, just feel me” it says, “I’ve come to wash off that which is dead and refresh you for a cold winter, to prepare you for a new spring.  Your days of summer lying in a warm breeze will return, but first you must feel me against your face.  Feel me hit your heart, swooping in deeper than any soap, cleansing your soul with hope renewed.”

Hope gets us through the winter.  How sad for those in the dark age when the world seem a constant winter.  Perhaps they had forgotten what spring flowers smelt like or the hot rays of the summer sun on their face.  If winter last too long the heart will stay cold, frost bitten, hard.

Prayer
Fall wind please blow on me and release from me the dead and dying parts.  Twirl them up to the sky, lay them on the ground, churn them into soil, all that death is good for. 
Take those parts from me so that I might see spring again.
I will not forget the flowers
I will not forget the summer sun.
I will not forget the green grass and the lazy days lying beside a lover

Blow wind blow!
Do your worst so that my reward will be greater!

Neighborhood Watch

This morning I decided to fore go the trip to the gym’s treadmill and “tread” around my own neighborhood.  Last fall I measured a one mile loop through town, and walked it four times a week before I joined the gym.  Feeling nostalgic, without giving it anymore thought, I dressed for the walk. Slipping into my outdoor walking shoes for the first time in 3 months felt wonderfully familiar.  My toes quickly found their home and the frayed cuffs around the ankle reminded me of those winter walks in harsh weather.  Somehow it felt like putting on gloves more than shoes.

This September marks my first year in Bellingham.  It’s been interesting to see how the area changes in each season.  Bellingham is a beautiful town.  I’ve enjoyed many wonderful scenes, fine enough to be painted on a dinner plate.  The weather and seasons clothing the landscape in each pattern that defines them.

I saw the town bathed in fall leaves, branches and trees blown into the street from winter storms, sidewalks caked with rippled frozen slush, puddles of water rushing into the drains from springs thaw.  The crocus are the first flower of the year marking the end of winter; brings hope to me every time I notice their purple petals.  Then the tulips show up, two months later, marking the edges of flower beds.  They stand so fancy as if saying “We bring the spring”; too much power for a flower.  I prefer the statement of the humbled crocus.  They surprise you popping up where they do, breaking through the snow under a tree line, around the steps, or snug beneath a rhododendron, staying for only 2 weeks, then away they go back into the ground.

Slowly over the course of the three summer months, homeowners start to make their way into their yards.   I can hear the sounds of lawn mowers, shovels hitting the dirt, and lawn-edgers as they grind in that crack between the grass and walkway.

This morning in August, my final month to view, proved good hunting in the area of natural events.  A summer storm is forming in the northwest corner of the sky, the dark clouds growing slowly.  I wonder if I should of brought a jacket?  Warm temperatures have the maple trees raining sticky sap onto the roads and sidewalks.  So thick in some spots my shoes make sticking sounds as I cross over them.  The sap leaves a mark like a raindrop tattoo on the cement.  Oh and the spiders are out!  Those common garden orb-weaving spiders are all over the place, constructing their webs across the walk ways, on the bushes and windows, any place their silk will stick too.  August is proving to be a sticky month!

The bees are also in full swing.  Saw two honey bees at different corners, walking.  A bee taking a walk?  I wondered if it was doing that honey dance they do to communicate to the other bees the direction and distance to the nearest nectar.  There were no other bees to be seen near the dancing ones.  Perhaps these two were young bees practicing their dance moves.  Good thing to practice, you wouldn’t want to shake when you should have wiggled causing your friends to fly in the wrong direction- a place of no nectar.  No nectar…  an office building or perhaps a freeway full of violent windshield related bee deaths?  Practice little bee, practice.  I’ll walk around you and let you practice. Spiders, bees, summer flowers making their final showing- all wonderful sights.

Taking the last steps of my walk up to the back door, I feel a little bead of sweat on the side of my forehead.  That is proof positive of a successful walk.  I sit and think on what I’ve seen as I pour myself some coffee.  Looking out the dinning room window, I notice it starting to rain.  …perfect timing.