A lifetime has passed since Gerry, Makiya, and I sat in our car in the park eating burgers and fries and looking at this sculpture. It was the first of April and we three had been hunkered down at home for weeks, finding lots to keep us occupied, but needing to get out of the house for a break.
The park was all but empty, as most places were at the time. Shops and schools were shut down. Those who could work from home, were. There was a shortage of toilet paper and hand sanitizer and flour and yeast. Jigsaw puzzles were out of stock online. It had only been a few weeks but we were already feeling a little punch drunk. Surely this couldn’t go on much longer.
We three were grateful for the respite of time in the car in the park. Despite it all, it was spring. The season of hope. We felt it in the warming sun.
Now we’re barreling toward the cold and dark months. The news does nothing to ease the tension so we vacillate between turning it off and being obsessed by it. We stock up on (without hoarding) dry goods, laying in supplies for a winter of unknown.
Yesterday I took Murphy for a walk in that same park and looked at that same hope-ful sculpture. An older couple sat in their car right in front of it, in the place where we parked to eat out lunch back in April, so my view of it was slightly skewed from what it had been before.
As is my hope?
I could get all theological and Pollyanna-ish and paste that fake mask back on my face but the truth is that I don’t have the stomach for any of that. This is hard. Damn hard. It’s wearing. And it’s not likely to get better anytime soon.
So I wake with that now-familiar burn in the pit of my stomach, another day begins, and I wonder what to do about this heaviness. I no longer try to muster hope but trust that it will find me. Sometimes we need to let go in order to be caught.