Friday, April 3, 2020

All in This Together


 'At Loss for words' sums up my emotions and understanding of our new society--standing six feet apart, afraid to make eye contact with one another, dis ease in our community, our nation, our world.


There is a children's book called The Judge: an Untrue Tale by Harve Zemach with pictures by Margot Zemach. I cannot seem to get the chant out of my mind. It goes like this:
The Judge an Untrue Tale 





     A horrible thing is coming this way,
    Creeping closer day by day.
          It's eyes are scary
          It's tail is hairy
          It's paws have claws
          It snaps its jaws
     I tell you, Judge, we all better pray!






Contrast in life, like in art, commands attention by the sheer force of its differences--March 1, 2020 compared to April 1, 2020. 
Manon and Letty on the Palmer Course PGA West

Playing golf in sunny, to be truthful rainy and cool, southern California the week the pandemic broke I felt isolated from the world of a future without enough toilet tissue and sanitizer wipes to go around. On March 17 the day of our departure to home, we stopped in downtown Palm Springs for breakfast. The shock on our faces and fear in my gut told the entire story. Palm Springs, unbeknownst to us, had closed it's restaurants to the public. At last we found an empty diner with sparkling clean red vinyl seats that left us feeling like we had just been transported back to the 1950's. We were quiet as we ate, each of us sorting our thoughts.

Sonny Bono, Mayor



Outside I found a statue of Sonny Bono, former Mayor of Palm Springs, with a smile on his face and open arms to greet the visitors, but there was no bustle around him. No one sitting on his lap. No one beside him.  No one honking and singing. 











A blue face mask covered my nose and mouth that day as I boarded the airplane. For the first time, I felt frightened of something and that children's rhyme began to sing in my head. 

     A horrible thing is coming this way,
    Creeping closer day by day.
          It's eyes are scary
          It's tail is hairy
          It's paws have claws
          It snaps its jaws
         It growls, it groans
         It chews up stones
     I tell you, Judge, we all better pray!

No green beer or wine was served on the plane. One family dressed their three children in Leprechaun Green making all around them smile.  Home and a day later, Wednesday, March 18 at midnight, Norman, Oklahoma shut its doors to the public. Not a fiber in my body understood.
    

Two weeks of self-quarantine found me walking 10,000 + steps nearly every day. Passing people playing outside with their children, in homes where I had never seen movement. Tricycles and bikes left outside.
A child's version of Olaf. 

Chalk art on the sidewalks and teddy bears in the windows. All seen from a distance, and the joy and love from those passing moments heals my worried soul. 

After two weeks,  I ventured out with sanitizers in hand to pick up an order of humor from International Pantry.  


Sunny days allowed Jack and me to spread our life into yard work away from the television.  Using my 20 Minute Gardening technique I feel like I have conquered the battle of the Henbit weed. Two front flower gardens are weed free, fertilized, covered with mulch and ready for Easter. Two more spacious gardens in front will reap the benefits of our weeding over the next few weeks.  Small tasks at a time.  

Coming into our home through the garage I am greeted by a monthly calendar--Scotland: The Art of Deborah Phillips. Her artwork charms me each time I pass it. The textures, colors, roof tops, and rain are true to my memory of Scotland. Each picture takes me where I have been before and for a moment in time I am transported back to a country of my ancestors. 
Scotland calendar

March's artwork captured my attention on varying levels. The distress of seasons feels personal now, as I experience spring in Oklahoma at home without company, without family, without gatherings; summer one day winter the next. There is such beauty to be found in these times and like The Judge the dark is there. 
  
     A horrible thing is coming this way,
    Creeping closer day by day.
          It's eyes are scary
          It's tail is hairy
          It's paws have claws
          It snaps its jaws
         It growls, it groans
         It chews up stones
         It spreads its wings
         It belches flame
         It has no name
     I tell you, Judge, we all better pray!

No name, no words. no prayers.  How could prayer have left me in a time like this? I hear my mother's words "This too Shall pass."  This morning on The Today Show these few true and sincere words from an Episcopal minister touched my heart.  

"A Prayer for the World"

God help us 
Love us
Walk with us.
Help us Love each other. 
And we will find our way. 
Amen. 

Yes, the beast with no name arrived, clawing his way into our lives. We named him Covid 19, now perhaps the warriors, our medical teams, will force him to retreat. 

We are ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, and a simple prayer has helped me to move forward in my heart and head.  May this prayer help each of you.