We are approaching the end of week 7, beginning week 8 of quarantine in this pandemic. Our town in Stillwater, OK was supposed to slowly reopen with masks being mandatory to be worn in public and stores. However, within 3 hours of this regulation, some people in the town got angry, even using guns to threaten stores for not letting them enter without a mask. The whole thing is irresponsible. The mayor reacted to this revolt with revoking the mandatory mask-wearing rule to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Only after a few hours.
Such a strange time to be a part of history. A woman yelled at Nick at the veterinarian’s office, “I’m not going to get you sick!” She was mask-less. Too bad she doesn’t know masks also protect her. A different part of the world, here, everywhere. Many people are upset, though, not just us. Today’s wonder may seem trivial. A fuzzy fast caterpillar. But maybe trivial is what we need.
I went on a walk yesterday, mid-quarantine. We are not sick, but are staying away from businesses (all that is open) and groups of people as much as possibly. On the walk I found a bunch of wild green onion. I pulled some on my way home to wash and then place in a vase. I had some last spring, and they sprout beautiful onion-fumed purple flowers. The smell was oddly wonderful. Scratchy and bitter and pungent.
It has been raining, and the backyard was muddy and wet. So I clipped Shiloh on to her leash and took her outside to go potty. On our way around the yard, I saw a blue fluff ball in the wet leaves. It was a baby blue bird. She looked like she had fallen from a nest or had maybe broken a wing or a leg.
I took Shiloh inside and made a nest basket with seeds and bread. My mom told me to rescue her, and reminded me a laundry basket would do. When I was little, we would rescue lots of animals, many of them birds.
But when I went outside, the little birdie flew away! She landed on the neighbor’s fence. Then, out of the sky, dove another blue bird (maybe her mom or sis or bro) and pecked her back and she fell to the ground, into the neighbors’ yard. I was shocked. And don’t know what happened to that blue baby bird.
The news has still been depressing. I believe we have entered a recession and may be on our way to a depression. Thousands of people are out of jobs. Those in the service industry have taken a ginormous hit. Most states have closed bars, restaurants, theaters, libraries, schools, events with over 10 people (was 50, but now 10 is the encouraged number). It’s scary. Also, the world found out Tom Brady is leaving the Patriots for Florida’s Buccaneers today. Sad day in the sports world. I inherited TB and the Pats when I met Nick nine years ago. I guess I’ll need a different jersey.
Anyway, baby blue bird. A tiny moment of magic amongst the pandemic we are living in.
I posted this this morning, and within the hour had a handful of people tagging friends from Chicago, sharing it on their timelines, and basically getting attention to those who could help. My cousin, Daniel, rallied his family in Chicago to help get goods to my grandparents. I love them so so much and it hurt my heart that people were hoarding toilet paper…and my grandpa could not find any. It’s the time to help each other. It’s really all we have. I’m grateful to the wonder of people caring on Facebook. Small joy, big results.
Today, our tiny county and town declared a state of emergency. We were kind of hoping we’d miss the coronavirus. But there is a confirmed case in our county (not town…as of yet).
But this was this evening — after the president told America to “relax” and “just buy what you need for the week” — he had just gotten off the phone with all the big CEOs from Wal-Mart, Kroger, General Mills, Target, and et cetera. People have been making “panic purchases” and you will find the entire pasta and canned tuna aisle wipes out in conjunction with the cleaning supplies, baby wipes, and toilet paper. He seemed to be unaware of the real danger humans are facing.
Tests are coming but we don’t know how available or accessible they will be. This is how the virus is moving. We get news hourly, daily.
To take a break, the three of us (4 with Shiloh the Golden) went in the rainy mist for a walk along the lake. It was wonderful to be in nature, get outside, take our minds off all we couldn’t control, and we even had a moment of humor when a woman speed walked past us with FIVE dogs on leashes.
Today, on March 11, Trump banned all travel from Europe, the NBA suspended its season, universities are moving classes online, Coachella was rescheduled, book tours are stalling, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson reported having the coronavirus in Australia. My husband is sick. Today is Day 3 of real fear vibrating through the world. Each day it’s pivoting into worse places.
I thought hard about wonder today. A tree’s spring buds seemed too trivial to report. But I did find wonder in looking for it. A teacher of mine looked out the window, admiring a small dog. I laughed and felt lucky by purchasing one of the last cans of Lysol at Wal-Mart (it was generic AND mandarin scent). Tonight, Nick and I watched Knives Out 🔪. It is a film inspired by my absolute favorite game as a child: CLUE.
I found wonder in reflecting back to childhood, playing this game at the kitchen table, always figuring out a way to win.
It’s another day of fear over: politics (and mourning over not potentially having a woman president), the pandemic of the coronavirus, schools subsequently shutting down until fall or moving online, the ever-plunging stock market, just to name a few. In my personal life, family have been canceling travel plans. My grandmother, in her late eighties, has had a pneumonia for three weeks. I’m scared. I think we all are.
What we are experiencing as a world is unprecedented. So how do we find wonder? In crisis, it’s imperative to find the wonder.
Today, I wasn’t sure. But there were brief glimpses of wonder. Humor over a tweet. The joy of reheating and repurposing my homemade Turkey burgers from last night, my sister kicking butt on her final practicals in dental school, my grandpa and grandma’s voices on the other end of my phone line (and the opening of Del Taco in Stillwater).
I’m from California. Snow is a rare gem. Fortunately, it is for Oklahoma too. (I could never do it much more than this. I like my oceans and sunshine year round.) Cities and schools basically shut down if it snows. My campus and Bennett’s school were both closed today.
Outside, we ventured: mini snowmen, tumbling in fluffy fresh snow, tasting it on the tips of our tongues.
Later tonight I went on a walk—a path I walk or jog almost daily, but tonight it seemed new. A bird nest filled with snow nestled atop a tree, a lawn spelled the word “misfits” and all the houses looked like they were out of a snowy Christmas story book dream.
Between finishing being at school and picking up B, I have about an hour. I try to be outdoors if the weather allows and go on at least a 2.2 mile jog. I usually do the same route through the neighborhood. All the lawns have been brown and dead looking since the first winter freeze. But, today I noticed a “nicer” part of the neighborhood (maybe slightly more expensive/newer homes) had spray painted all the lawns green. I don’t know why but this made me laugh with wonder. I wondered how much it cost, who did the spray-painting? Was it an HOA thing? It kind of looked silly, like when someone first dyes their hair and some of the paint lingers on their forehead and neck. There was green graffiti-like marks on the sidewalks. I wondered what was wrong with having the brown winter grass like the rest of us? What do you think of painted grass?