It’s been almost two months since she began her time inside. Sitting on her bed while working, she looks out the window at the tree that’s now filled with chirping birds and eager squirrels. A tree that was once bare, with rain droplets on naked branches, now owns bright green leaves that sing in the breeze. She didn’t realize that every day was mending into one until she noticed that the color green now overpowered the dreary lawns, the frequently wet sidewalks, and the transparent branches that once were.
She became a watcher of the seasons.
I’ll admit I haven’t written anything in a while, but of course, you could already tell. To be honest, it’s because so much has been happening and not happening at the same time. And I think you know exactly what I mean.
I haven’t quite figured out what I want to write about because I haven’t quite wrapped my head around the idea that this is our new routine. Like a forest in the Amazon, we were all uprooted. We were so used to our previous way of life that we grew comfortable with the fact that it was guaranteed. No one ever goes around thinking, “One day this could all come to a halt,” ––unless you’re into the whole “aliens taking over the earth and a post-apocalyptic future” thing, then yes. But we took it for granted because we thought it could never be taken.
Now we sit inside, looking at nature like it used to look at us.
While we yearn to freely stroll through a park, picnic with a loved one, or simply swing on a swing set, we’re where we are to keep ourselves and others safe. Yet some people don’t understand that and why we are forced to take the measures that we are. During this pandemic, people have lost their jobs and lost their homes, but more importantly, they have lost people they love.
We often hear that we’re staying inside so that we can “flatten the curve,” but we’re really staying inside because we need to hold ourselves accountable––accountable for saving lives, for doing our part and for helping those whose bodies can’t fight if they went through what so many are going through.
Our routine is shaken, our minds are restless, and the news is constant. This is our new normal. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be this way forever because life is always changing, day by day.
When I was younger, I used to pick honeysuckles with my friend in her backyard. We would grab a bunch and lay there in the grass looking up at the clouds. Tasting the sweet nectar from the stems, we talked about everything––school, orchestra, boys, family, memories–– until one day I noticed we didn’t do that anymore. We would walk home from the bus stop and pass her honeysuckle tree, and what was once familiar was a faint memory.
Days would go by, and soon, the honeysuckles decorated the grass, falling one by one, blending in with the earth. Then it was fall, and then winter, and then spring again. The buds started to form, and a couple weeks later on my way home from the bus stop, there it was again in full bloom. I dropped my backpack in the grass and picked a honeysuckle. Tasting the sweet nectar from the stems, I realized my new normal.
Just because something stops, it doesn’t mean we can’t go back.
Sometimes we need to take a break away from what we once thought was normal. We need to be shaken and we need to be restless because that shows us that we’re capable of change.