Updated: Apr 13
As frozen as the maple sap in a spigot on a 20 degree March morning.
Virtually the instant the term COVID-19 made its way to mainstream media, I felt frozen. My spring break escape to Costa Rica was derailed only two short days after the debut of this coronavirus that changed the world. No refund; simply a credit for a safer time, yet to be determined.
All in-person schooling ceased, and a new term surfaced as Zoom became my classroom. Emails and texts flooded in from students past and present, all echoing, “I’m terrified and don’t know what to do.” I quickly took solace in “human” interaction behind a screen. There were no pizza fuelled last-class farewells, no graduation angst or revelry as May approached.
I’ve always enjoyed my time away from people and society, and the impetuous child in me was alarmed to discover I was missing human interaction the instant I got what I wanted: isolation. My summer plans to explore Scotland succumbed to travel restrictions and quarantines, while businesses were shuttered, and loved ones stayed home.
Even the distinct milestones of life and death met a solitary fate. Birthing reverted to the days of old as fathers were forced to celebrate their child’s entrance into the world from afar. Alternatively, death was redefined for the 21st century with online funerals and final good-bye texts and messages.
This vile virus made life feel as though the world had stopped moving, and maybe it did.
Then began the drip, drip, drip that signals the sap flow. News of vaccine development gave hope. Since I was a little girl, the flowing sap always signaled the promise of spring. After a year of being frozen, this spring is a floodgate to a return to- well, I’m not really sure. Still, I’m ready.
I’m ready to celebrate each moment: a dragonfly on my kneecap, hitching a ride while my kayak glides through the still water just before dusk; that wobbly feeling in my knees when getting up off the couch after a day exploring another new trail. Moments I had forgotten to feel beyond the senses.
It’s another brisk March night, except now it’s 2021. The stars are bright, and the outdoor fireplace glows, while the Barred Owl calls out its “Who- Who- Who- Hoo!” and I just can’t resist a responding call.