Friday, March 20, 2020

Some things go on...

I have worked from home for nine years, and for the past seven years in the apartment that I currently live in.  Over time I've come to know the patterns and routines of the neighborhood...

...the buzz of cars passing as people make their way to work and back again
...the two dogs that bark at each other when they pass on their daily morning walk
...the preschool on the corner that takes all of the children for a walk about mid-morning
...the school bus as it passes trucks as they make their daily routes

Over the past couple of weeks things have become quieter.  I find myself listening for sounds that are no longer there. It feels like the rhythm of the world has changed, and everything is on pause.

Yesterday afternoon, I went for a very short, and slightly anxiety producing*, walk around the block. I saw very few people.  A person walking their dog, a handful of people taking in the view at the park, and a UPS driver making deliveries.

Things seemed very quiet.

As I made my way I saw green shoots from hidden bulbs poking up through the soil. I saw buds beginning to plump up on the trees. And when I rounded the final corner of the block, I heard a cacophony of birdsong.  There were several dozen starlings in the trees on either side of the road, and they were singing, singing, singing.

There were chirps and warbles, and clicks.  There was the squeaky gate sound of a nearby blue jay, and a crow flew overhead cawing.  A "chick-a-dee-dee-dee" sang out from somewhere up the hill above me, and another answered back from below.

"Hey!" they all seemed to be saying to each other, "Hey! Hello friend!  Hello!  It's the first day of spring!"

In all that has been going on, lives, relationships, routines all disrupted or put on hold, I'd forgotten that the world was still spinning, still continuing on Its journey around the sun and through the seasons.  I stopped and listened to this beautiful bird serenade from Nature to the world (and other horny birds), and I realized that I'd isolated myself not just physically, but spiritually too. My world might be slowing to a crawl, but the greater world of Nature was not.

I knew I'd want to share this moment of lightness in what has been a heavy couple of weeks, so I took out my phone and made the short video below.  I hope you find some joy in it as I did.  I hope it helps you to feel a little more connected to the the rhythm of the natural world. If you are able to do so safely, I encourage you to get outside, even if just to stand on your porch or outside your door to take in a few breaths, to pause, to listen.

Happy first  full day of Spring everyone!
Please take care of yourself.  
Please take care of one another. 
Please stay home as much as possible.
Please be kind.
Let those you love know how you feel.
And of course, please wash your hands

*My brain likes to catastrophize and on my walk I kept imagining a person appearing out of nowhere and coughing on me.

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