Waking Up in 2020


It is the sound of the wind that wakes me up. A cool breeze flutters the dark blue curtains that fall across my window.

My first thought is that it’s morning. After having woken up three times in the night, it’s a relief to see daylight.

I roll over. I slowly orient myself. “It’s late summer….it’s Sunday morning….there’s nothing much on the agenda for today….”

Suddenly it slams into me: it is early fall of 2020.

The blankets feel heavy all at once, pressing on my heart and my chest. I drape an arm across my eyes as the waves come flooding over me. Trump against Biden, and only a few weeks left. The lies being told and repeated and told again. The violence in the streets, the rage, the injustice, the impotence of trying to make a point to anyone who will listen.

These thoughts are quickly chased out by fear of the second surge of Covid that is expected in the next few weeks. Will schools be safe? Will we have to go back on lockdown? Will the supply chains dry up again?

Will this ever end?

Are we facing civil war? The rhetoric on social media scares me more every day. The people marching in our streets with guns in their hands, insisting that they have to protect us all from enemies who come from “the other side.” The images are terrifying.

Will the economy continue to slide, and what will that mean for us, for our future? Are we heading into a depression, or even another deep recession, like the one that ravaged this small town just over a decade ago?

I roll over again, pulling my knees up to ease the pain in my back and in my soul. I’d like to stay here all day, rolled up like a pill bug, shielding myself from the reality that is 2020.

It’s the same every day. It’s the same every time I wake up. I stay in my restful place for maybe ten seconds, and suddenly I’m drowning in helplessness and frustration. Every action feels futile.

Everything I know is out of my control.

But I don’t stay in my bed. I refuse to be that far down. I push myself to my feet and stand in my window, holding the curtains back. I force myself to see my own small piece of the universe.

The woods are glowing. Wet leaves sparkle in the breeze. The air smells of the earth and a hint of the coming frost. There’s a cardinal chirping out there, and from overhead I hear a hawk’s piercing call.

The thumping of two tails on my bedroom floor tells me that my dogs are up and waiting for their hugs and scratches. I smell coffee, and picture my husband in his blue robe, knees up and feet on the scratched coffee table, checking the news on his laptop.

I am healthy and safe. There is more than enough food in our house to feed us for months. My children are safe and healthy. My grandchildren are joyfully oblivious to the wide world, and are happy to have so much time with both parents.

This reality, my small piece of reality, is where I absolutely must keep my focus.

I can’t change the outcome of the election. I can’t force Trump to stop lying to us. I can’t force people to see those lies for the blatant gaslighting that they are.

I can’t cure the virus, or keep the schools safe and healthy. I can’t give 50 million Americans jobs or make Europe let us all back in.

What I can do is enjoy my cup of esspresso, scratch the soft spots behind my dog’s ears and give my husband a hug.

I can tell my children and grandchildren how much I love them, and I can call my Momma for a chat. I can send letters and cards to friends.

That is my world for now.

The challenge is to convince myself that it is, in fact, enough.

How the Democrats Continue to Let Me Down


I am just about at the end of my ability to tolerate the Democratic Party, and I say that as a true progressive voter.

Just a few weeks ago, I wrote that I could not in good conscience vote for Joe Biden on Nov. 3rd. I wrote that after watching the failure of multiple Democratic Administrations to make any significant changes in terms of our endless wars, our lack of universal healthcare and our increasing income inequality, I could not support their candidate this year.

I still feel that way. I still feel that the two parties that control this country are simply two sides of the same tarnished coin. Both owned by corporate interests. Both dedicated only to preserving their own power by thwarting each other.

I’m so damn sick of it!

I still want more choices.

But, in the past few weeks, I have been persuaded that this is not the year to vote third party. I’ve been convinced by the arguments put forth by my husband and my progressive friends, who tell me that it is the height of white privilege to risk a continuation of Trump’s dangerous assault on our civil liberties. I’ve also been swayed by the words of Rep. Clyburn, who pointed out that only one of two men will be inaugurated in January. He said that if we vote third party, we might as well just stay home.

So I plan to reluctantly cast my vote for the Democratic ticket in November. I desperately hope that they win, because the alternative is too horrific to consider.

But here we are, once again watching the Democratic party playing defense as the GOP controls the national conversation. “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America” they intone, “We are the party of law and order.”

The fact that this piece of racist bullshit is being said with a straight face while the nation roils with protests and riots under Trump, with violence often pushed by the far right, is something that the Dems don’t seem to notice.

Why am I not seeing Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi or Kamala Harris out there pointing out the REAL danger to Americans? The issue at hand is the fact that innocent Americans…..innocent American citizens…. BLACK American CITIZENS….are being murdered over and over and over again by police officers who almost always get away free.

Tamir Rice was twelve years old when he was gunned down by police because he was holding a toy weapon. Breonna Taylor was asleep in her own bed, in her own home, when the cops entered the wrong place and shot her to death. Michael Brown. Stephen Taylor. Trayford Pellerin. Sean Reed.

You probably haven’t even heard some of those names, right? I hadn’t either, until I did some research for this post.

That’s the issue. THAT is the issue.

The police in country have been militarized. They have been given too many weapons, too much armor, too little training. They are not given support by those who are trained to deescalate mental health crises. They face a public that is armed to the teeth in a lot of states that allow them to carry their weapons openly, or even hidden.

THAT is the issue that I want to hear Democrats bringing out. I don’t want to hear the usual feeble, “Oh, yeah? Well, Joe Biden wrote the crime bill! He is for law and order.”

I don’t want to hear, “We will arrest the looters, we promise.”

Folks, for God’s sake.

The problem isn’t that people are so angry and hurt and frustrated that some of them are resorting to burning buildings. The problem is that BLACK AMERICANS are being killed.

Stop the killing, reform the police, demilitarize the police.

That is what I want to hear my Presidential candidate saying publicly. I want to hear him say, “No justice, no peace.” I want to hear him say, “No more lost Black lives.”

Come on, Democrats. At least try to make me happy to vote for you.

Image: “Vice President Joe Biden visit to Israel March 2016” by U.S. Embassy Jerusalem is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Ruh, Roh


This is a mask. Underneath it, I am NOT happy.

Welp.

I always say that a good cook has to be willing to accept mistakes. When you’re cooking, you WILL make a lot of mistakes. You have to be able to laugh at them, make yourself a sandwich, and call it a day.

As your friendly neighborhood cooking expert, I am absolutely able to make peace with my kitchen mishaps. I set the turkey on fire in the oven? Hahaha, what great Thanksgiving memories we’re making! Oops, I mixed up the sugar and the salt? What a funny little pie!

I can laugh at my dinner mistakes.

I canNOT, however, laugh at my technological screw ups. Nope. Those result in tears, smashed laptops and a bewildered husband who wonders how in hell this ended up as his fault.

So I am here to tell you that when I started my delightful new blog, “Hell Yes You Can Cook”, I was very excited. I chose a theme and got it up and running. Then I realized that it wasn’t quite the look I wanted. A friend suggested that it was a little dull and needed some jazzing up. And I really wanted my tagline to show, because it reads “A cooking blog for people with thumbs”. That was the hilarious idea of my blogging friend Beth, at “I Didn’t Have My Glasses On.” She is a sweet, funny, thoughtful blogger who you need to read. Right after you finish this post.

Anyway, I wanted to change things around on Hell, Yes, so I went to “themes” and I tried to “customize”.

To keep this long, sad story short, I will tell you that NOTHING WORKED.

Please be patient.

I am a better cook than I am a blogger.

Right now, if you link to my new blog, you’ll find a bunch of stuff about healthy dinners (which I will never post) and a soulful picture of a guy in the woods (um, what?)

I will fix it.

I will.

After I finish throwing my laptop off the deck, sobbing into my martini and yelling at my husband.

All things come to those who wait.

New Site is Launched… I think?


Welp.

I am having a dreadful time with WordPress right now (why does the tech world constantly want to “improve” what already works????). But I THINK my new food blog for people who don’t cook is up and running.

Please let me know if it is empty/wrong/ridiculous/messed up.

I NEED you!

Thanks.

Momshieb.

https://hellyesyoucancook.wordpress.com/

How Did I Get Here?


Paul and I took a couple of days off this week. Well, truthfully, he took a couple of days off. Since the onset of the Covid disaster, I have mostly had my days free. But he’s been working as a therapist in a time of universal angst, and he was very tired.

We decided to take a couple of days and travel up into the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire, to the National Forest Campground where Paul and his family have spent vacations since the 1920s.

While Paul grew up with a love of these mountains, and a passion of camping at their feet, I came to that life in my late teens. Truthfully, I had never camped in my life until I decided that this very cute guy was worth the bugs, the rain, the cold nights and the burned food.

Needless to say, I learned to camp. In fact, I learned to camp at Dolly Copp Campground in the White Mountain National Forest. I learned to pitch a tent. And to cook outside. And to bathe my little ones in a rubber bucket. I learned to lock up the food so the bears wouldn’t get it. And to wash my hair in a bucket of water warmed over the camp stove.

And the years went by. My kids love camping, and hiking. They love Dolly Copp Campground so much. Our extended family has a reunion up there every year. That campground is where I felt the movement of my first baby in my womb. It is where that same baby went into early labor and was rushed off the hospital to have her own daughter, with me at her side. Dolly Copp campground is where my boys learned to fish, and where they learned the sorrow that came with killing another being in order to eat.

We swam in the river that runs through the campground. We made s’more. We sang around the fires. Our little family has so many, many good memories of that place.

And Paul and I went there to camp last night. Only one night, but it was filled with memories and peace and laughter.

This morning, very early, I found myself in the campground’s bathroom. An updated, modern, clean version of the little spaces where I’d dressed my kids so many times.

I looked into the mirror, and I saw my 64 year old self. Not the hopeful, eager young 19 year old girl who first followed her future mate to this place, but the gray, wrinkled, slightly wilted version of that girl.

“I’m 64.” I said out loud. “How did this happen?”

I expected to feel sad, but you know what? Something beautiful happened.

As I stood there, looking at my aging self, I heard a sudden unexpected voice answering my question.

“It happened because for the past 40 plus years, you’ve been busy.

In that time,” the voice told me, “You’ve graduated from college, learned what you wanted to do with you life, achieved a Master’s degree and embarked on a rich and rewarding career.”

I looked back at the image in the mirror, remembering every misstep and every failed moment.

But the voice from my heart continued, “You’ve learned how to teach. And you’ve been a teacher. You have touched the lives of many many children, in ways that you won’t ever know. You have reassured parents, encouraged kids, supported them on their journeys. The years passed because you were busy. You were growing and you were doing good.”

I thought of the kids I’ve loved and taught over the years. The kids who are my Facebook friends, my real life friends, my warmest memories. “OK”, I thought, “I get it.”

But the voice wasn’t done.

“And you’ve raised three kids. Three adults who are healthy and joyful and loving.”

I looked back at my face in the mirror. I saw a mother. A teacher. A sister, a friend, a wife, a daughter.

I saw a life well lived.

“OK”, I said, nodding to my own old self, “OK. I’m 64 years old, and it isn’t a surprise. How did I get here? I got here on my own winding but worthwhile path.”

Really, what more could any of us ask of this life?

A New Idea


If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that it has been a reflection of my emotional life for the past dozen or so years. I started it on the advice of a very good therapist who I was seeing to help me process the depression that I felt when my three children grew up and moved out.

Over the years, this blog has helped me to express my feelings about moving into the “Empty Nest” years and learning to accept myself as something other than Momma.

If you’ve been reading my words for a while, you’ll know that I’m now a very happy grandmother, and that my grandchildren have more than filled the hole that was created by the absence of my kids.

I’ve written about politics (grrrrr), teaching, aging, friendships and life in general.

But now we’re caught in the horrors of 2020. No more visiting, no more vacations or travel or dinners out. Now my world has closed in around me.

It can be more than a little difficult to cope.

But luckily for me, there is always food to keep me sane! I love to eat. Therefore, I love to cook.

So I had an idea.

I am thinking that I’d like to start a new blog. A cooking blog. But not one of those pretentious, sous vide, balsamic reduction, adorable presentation blogs.

Instead, I want to write a blog for people who think that they ‘can’t cook’. You know, people who are intimidated by roasting a chicken. Or making a salad.

I know those people are out there, because some of them are my friends and relations! I want to convince them that anyone…..anyone…..can cook well enough to eat happily at home.

If I do that….will you follow me? Will you come along on my new journey to bring sanity, humor and fun into the average American kitchen?

I hope so. I am excited to try this out.

I do need a catchy name for this new site, so please weigh in if you have an idea. Maybe something along the lines of “Oh yes you CAN make dinner.” Or “Demystifying Dinner”. I don’t know. I trust you guys to be more creative.

Anyone?

 

It’s All About Perspective


One of my greatest joys as a mother has been the way that I am constantly learning from my children.

As adults, my children have helped me to broaden my views in so many ways. They’ve challenged me to look beyond my own “echo chamber” and to recognize the validity of other viewpoints.

One of my sons, in particular, has been consistent in his gentle reminders to take other people’s perspectives into account when I form my many opinions. Whether the topic is politics or family dynamics, he has reminded me more than once that my idea of the facts is only my own personal perspective. The other person’s views are based on the way that they experienced the same events; their perspective is valid, so their opinions are valid.

While these ideas have made me uncomfortable more than once, and annoyed quite a few times, I treasure their honesty. I treasure the fact that they have helped me to keep my mind at least a little bit open as I move through this complex life.

Tonight I am thinking of that son. He is on my mind, and in my heart, because thirty years ago tonight, I was working very hard to bring him into this world.

I’m thinking about his birthday from the perspective of a mother. At the same time, I know that he is experiencing the same day from the perspective of a young man.

I think about the night of his birth. I think of my fear that I wouldn’t be able to deliver him safely. I think about my pain, and my hopes and the overwhelming love that I felt for him before he had ever drawn a breath.

For me, this night is a time to reflect on the sweet, careful, thoughtful little boy who filled my heart with his tenderness. I think back on his first smiles, his first steps, his raspy little voice and his wide green eyes. I remember, as if it had been only yesterday, how his absolute beauty took my breath away.

I remember the rigid and righteous boy who saw the world in black and white. The stubborn child who was the only one of my three with enough dug in determination to wait out any mother’s ultimatum.

For me, this birthday is a reminder of all of his birthdays; every party, every game, every sleepover with the boys in the backyard.

Mostly, this birthday is my celebration of the kind, smart, articulate man that grew out of that night of labor. This is my sending up of gratitude to the heavens for having put our son in our lives.

But perspective is everything.

I am well aware of the fact that while I remember the feeling of my baby in my arms, my son is looking back on the first part of his life. I am aware that this birthday is mostly likely a look back, an assessment, and a kind of measuring of where he has come in life thus far.

I suspect that this birthday is, for him, equal parts happy memory and sadness at lost opportunities. I suspect that it is a time to regroup and plan the next steps on his journey.

Perspective is everything.

Tonight I sit on my deck, looking at the darkening sky. I think about how much my love for my children has grown with every passing year. I wish that somehow I could show my son just how much I still love him, and how grateful I am for him.

Happy Birthday, honey.

I love you more than my next breath.

Gratitude in a Time of Crisis


“dragonfly” by davedehetre is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Like all of you, I am living in the strangest and most stressful of times. Like you, I am dealing with all of the sadness, worry and fear that has come with the Covid-19 global pandemic.

I am afraid of getting sick and dying. I am afraid of passing on this terrible sickness to my 90 year old mother, and to my newborn grandson.

I am worried about the collapsing economy, and about all of those I know and love who suddenly find themselves without jobs. I worry about the trauma of having done everything right, from completing college to getting a decent job, to paying back student loans, and yet having it all fall apart because of a microbe that none of us can see.

I am sad about the people I can’t hug. My sons, my siblings, my friends. I miss the contact. I miss the support. I miss the feeling of being loved.

But even in the midst of all of this, I know that I am incredibly blessed. I know it, and I am trying to hold on to that awareness.

In March, when the world shut down and all of us huddled in our respective nests, I was grateful to have a spouse whose company I treasure. I was grateful for our house, for the safety of our three kids, for the fact that his job could continue from home.

In April and May, I was grateful that my daughter and her family live only a half a mile away, and are part of our “quaranteam”. I was so thankful to be able to see them and hold them and be a part of their Covid life.

In June I was grateful for my big yard, and the chance to grow some food. I was grateful for the fact that I live in a place where farms and farmstands and local markets abound.

But July came around, and I found myself tired of the stress, worried about the worry, anxious about the future. My daughter is a teacher, and I am scared to death of her return to the classroom. My sons have jobs that have them interacting with the public, and I am so afraid of them getting sick.

I am worried about my 90 year old Mom, and about my siblings who help to care for her. I am worried about my little granddaughter, who won’t be going to kindergarten in September after all.

It is getting harder every day to stay grateful.

But sometimes there is a moment of grace, and we are forced to see how lucky we are.

At 64 years old, it isn’t surprising that I have developed a set of cataracts. My eye doctor told me a year ago that I should think about having them removed “in a year”.

But in early February I realized that I couldn’t see to drive at night. I realized that my vision was getting more and more murky, and so I made an appointment to go back to the doctor.

He checked my vision and told me with a bit of surprise that my vision was deteriorating much faster than he’d anticipated. We made an appointment to have my cataracts removed in late March.

But, alas, Covid arrived and elective surgery went away.

So I waited. My vision grew foggier and grayer, and driving even in the light of day became a challenge.

And here is my moment of gratitude.

Last week, at last, I had my right eye repaired. The cataract was removed and a new lens was put in place. The vision in my right eye went from 20/80 to 20/25 in an hour.

Last night I sat on our deck, watching the sun set and feeling the breeze. I laid my head back against the deck chair, and looked up.

Far overhead, whizzing along like a rocket, I saw a dragonfly. He swooped and dove and sped off over my rooftop.

And I could see him.

I held my breath, and let the tears flow down.

“I can see you,” I whispered. Another dragonfly sped past, and then another.

We are still living in a time of danger and sadness. But I am suddenly so grateful.

I can look up. I can see a dragonfly.

I am more than blessed, and I am determined to remember that.

So Are Schools Vital or Not?


Oh, what a funny, funny time to be alive! After more than 6 decades of life, it suddenly seems that everything we thought we knew to be true has morphed into something else.

Up is down, dark is light, medical masks cause disease, scientists are diabolical villains and game show hosts are prophets.

I tell you, it can make a Nonni’s head spin.

Let’s think about public schools, for example.

As the mom of three grown children, I have many fond memories of standing in line at the store to buy pencils, crayons, markers, tissues and hand sanitizer for my kids’ classrooms. I didn’t mind donating to the classes, but I did wonder why our country didn’t value education enough to provide the money for basic supplies.

I was a teacher for about 30 years, too. I’ve lived through many years of budget cuts, layoffs of staff and an inability to update materials. I’ve taught in buildings with no air conditioning, windows that couldn’t be opened and bits of ceiling tile falling on our desks.

I even taught in one building where the sixth grade kids had metal buckets on their desks because hot water was leaking from the ceiling pipes.

A couple of decades ago, I served on my local school committee. In that role, I had the interesting experience of trying to convince government officials that schools were essential places.

Hahaha. That was fun.

The federal government only provides about 10% of the public school budget, but they didn’t want to hear that we needed more support for the many special needs kids in the district. They weren’t convinced when we asked for more staff to support those kids and the teachers struggling to meet their needs. They were busy spending money on new aircraft carriers; they didn’t have time to deal with the problems of little kids.

The state government sounded a little more open. Our committee explained to our governor and state legislature that we hadn’t been able to update our technology in years, and that kids lacked access to the internet. They felt bad, but, gosh, they explained, there’s only so much money to go around. They explained that everyone wanted a piece of the pie, but we couldn’t just come in and ask for a bigger piece.

(Humble brag coming: I told Gov. Mitt Romney that he needed a bigger pie.)

The state clearly didn’t find public education to be much of a priority. They ignored our request for help.

And then there was our local government. To be fair, our town is not wealthy. We are a semi-rural town with very little business to add to our tax base. Our property taxes are pretty high, given the economic status of many of our residents.

But the schools were really struggling while I was on the school committee. We weren’t doing well enough on state tests, we had outdated buildings, old books and too few support staff. We tried to convince the townspeople and the selectboard that we needed more funds.

It didn’t go well.

So you see, I have more than 35 years of experience with public schools. I have had decades to recognize how little respect our country has for them. I’ve spent years hearing, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

I’ve heard that schools are too rigid and that they are too lenient. I’ve heard that teachers are lazy. That the curriculum is “dumbed down” and that classrooms are just “babysitting.” I’ve heard that school push too hard and that they don’t push hard enough.

I’ve had engineers, lawyers, truck drivers and dental assistants tell me what I am doing wrong as a teacher. Everyone around me has always seemed to have the belief that they could handle a public school classroom without cracking a sweat.

So you can imagine how amused I am listening to those same people, from my own friends to Betsy DeVos, as they demand that schools reopen RIGHT ON TIME!!

I just heard a well known Senator lamenting about all of the dangerous things that are happening with schools closed. Did you know that without our teachers being on alert, hordes of kids are being abused at home and nobody knows it? And that kids are suffering from depression and anxiety because they are not able to be in classrooms with their friends and teachers?

I hear government officials at every level saying that public schools keep children safe, and that education is absolutely vital. They are insisting that our kids desperately need the support of the mental health staff and nurses at school. I have heard that without the chance to gather together in one place, children will suffer irretrievable loss.

Wow.

All of a sudden, public school is the bedrock upon which all of society stands. All of a sudden, teachers are the most essential line of defense between civilization and it’s utter collapse.

I agree.

But it strikes me as both laughable and sad that it took devastating global crisis for this country to recognize the crucial nature of public schools.

I’m thinking about the fact that most schools don’t have enough space to keep kids apart. And about the huge number of schools that have crappy ventilation. About the huge number that lack modern, sanitary bathroom facilities.

Where was all this interest when teachers were begging for new buildings?

I remember all the times I was told that “now isn’t the right time” to update technology. I was once asking for a new router for our High School and an elderly member of the finance committee scolded me. “I got through school without the internet and I did just fine.”

Where was all the demand for updated technology when we asked for it decades ago?

I’m thinking of the times when our schools didn’t have enough money for more counselors. I’m remembering when we had to cut teaching staff because the funding just wasn’t there to keep us all.

Perhaps if this country had valued public education then as much as it does now, we’d be in better shape to safely reopen. Maybe if we had given our children safe, clean, spacious buildings in which to learn, we could manage a socially distanced teaching model now. Maybe if we had continuously updated access to technology for all schools, we’d be able to move easily into a hybrid education model.

If only we had continued to fund the appropriate support staff, our schools could reopen with the ability to screen kids for all of the trauma caused by the pandemic.

If only.

What a strange time to be alive.

Self-Care in the US, July 2020


It is so hot today. The air is dense and wet. Sweat is dripping down my spine, making me feel achy and tired.

Paul and I decide in the mid-afternoon to give ourselves a break. We drive across town to our local state park, stopping in the nearly empty lot, leaving our glasses and our wallets in the car.

There are two families swimming in the tiny roped off “safe area” of the pond. The air smells of pine resin and wood smoke, drifting from the little campground across the pond.

I drop my towel on the gritty sand. I shed my shorts and sweaty tee-shirt. My glasses land on the pile. I draw in one deep resonant breath.

I am in the water, well past the ropes. I am on my back, my arms and legs loose and boneless around me. The water surrounds my face like the cowl of a nun.

With water in my ears, I can’t hear the world. I can’t hear the angry yells or the complaints or the demands. I am deaf to everything except the beating of my own heart. I listen to the silence. My body relaxes.

I lie with my vision limited to a circle right above me. Smooth blue sky. Silky blue. Two small puffed clouds. Nothing else. I let my eyes relax, I let them stop trying to focus.

I drift.

Afloat on the gentlest of currents, my arms are floating at my sides. The top of the water is warm. Liquid sunlight fills my palms. An inch lower, and that same current brings water so cold that my bone marrows thickens.

I swirl my hands and my arms through the green water of the pond. Warm, cold, sunlight and ice. I cannot hear the world, I cannot see the world.

But I feel the earth around me. I smell the trees and the mud and the tiny green frogs that jump out of the grass. A dragonfly lands on my forehead, decides that I am neither flower nor insect, and bursts away across the top of the water.

I float. The sun hits my skin.

I am carried by the water, and for the first time in weeks, I feel no pain. My joints are loose, my muscles free. No part of me catches or clutches or aches.

I float. The breeze brushes my lashes.

Here in this tiny pond, in this small American town, I am free. I am neither too much nor too little. I am none of the things that pull on my mind and my heart. I am not needed, or depended upon, or subject to anybody’s judgment.

Here in this cool/warm sunkissed water, I am only one more floating organism, drifting on the current, touched by the sky, held up by mother nature for no particular reason.

Here in this silken green water, I don’t have to think about the left or the right or the virus or the stock market. Here in the arms of this water spirit, I am not fighting or struggling or arguing or trying to change the world.

Right now, in this small pond, in this small town, I am only a woman taking a break from the heat and the worry and the world.

This is self care. This is how I can take care of me.

I hope that you have all found a similar way to turn off this human mess and embrace the real world around us.