When I was a young child, perhaps four or five years old, I spent hours playing with the water from the hose that soaked my mother's flower beds, using a trowel to draw channels in the soil to direct the water to particular plants, and shaping earthen dams to capture the flow. Once when my grandparents came for a visit from their faraway home in Florida, my engineer granddad watched me play, and then bent his tall form to my level.
One of the ways I'm staying sane through the coronavirus pandemic is focusing on house renovation, chipping away at my punch list of what needs to be done to make Casa Alegria sustainable and ready for its next three decades of life.
I've been a widow for eight-and-a-half years. I midwifed the deaths of my husband and my mom in the same year, so I have experience living with loneliness and grief. But I can say honestly that I've never experienced the kind of lows of the past week. I felt the darkness coming beforehand--I'm intuitive--and often, I get some sense of what's coming my way. Sometimes I can use that wordless warning to prepare myself. Sometimes not. This time, I wasn't successful.
When I first read the CDC guidelines about who is at highest risk for severe illness with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), I admit to feeling both scared and pissed off. In fact, I am pretty sure I uttered a short and pithy phrase I won't repeat on this blog. (Suffice to say that it contained several four-letter words, and none of them were "love.")
With the world seeming to be heading into chaos once again, I find myself searching for anything positive or cheering. Any good news, any happy ending, any ray of light in what feels like gathering darkness. I'm offering this love story in that vein, as a sign that goodness still exists, and miracles still happen. I'm not going to identify the lovers out of respect for one's desire for privacy. You'll probably guess the identity of the other; that's okay.
Gratitude is good for us. Brain research shows that simply being grateful releases neurotransmitters that act like dopamine in our brains, making us feel good, and boosting our overall health.
isostatic rebound n. The slow rise of continental crusts after thick ice sheets recede, and the crustal rocks are freed from their massive weight. Measured in thousands of years. Also called glacial isostatic adjustment.
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