My work with the Museum and Gallery, making friends for the new museum, came grinding to a halt last week. Not a complete stop, but I will not be able to meet any clients. Not on campus. Not at a restaurant, coffee shop, museum, church…not anywhere face-to-face.
My wife’s work as piano teacher and church accompanist dried up like fine grass planted in July. No lessons. No recitals. No new music to learn for choir. No choir. Sad kids. Sadder moms. A big dip in income means a bit of anxiety. We expected it.
We are in self-imposed 15-day quarantine because I am high risk, and my sweet wife is medium-high risk. On Monday I delivered three pots of steaming Tuscan cannellini and sausage soup to three shut-in families. It would be my last visit to them. I kept my distance and tried to explain.
Back home, we put our reasonable stash of groceries away, and after turning off yet another alarmist “Breaking News!” TV segment, I found myself suddenly saying to my wife: “I really like being home. I really like having you here!”
A dark cloud may yet have a silver lining. We love having generous time at home together. We watched a whole movie in one go! We made creative home-cooked meals. We can take walks, “distancing” of course. We always enjoy a drive in the foothills. (Gas is suddenly $1.68). I love photographing spring, a real treat for the eyes in the South. We can both be on the same phone call, skyping with our family. We can to go to bed at 8 and get up with the chickens. Or watch a second movie that goes until midnight. It’s like having a sweet little chunk of our lives back, with the faint fragrance of honeymoon about it.
The virus will end, we will go back to meaningful work that we enjoy, and sharing life with friends, cooking for shut ins… but I believe we will carry this gift of joyful perspective with us, going forward. When the storm runs out of rain, (and it will!) we will still be enjoying many of these flowers.