Recently I was thinking back to March of last year. (Can you believe March is almost here again – my birthday month, don’t forget!) I remember listening to Tom Hanks do the monologue for Saturday Night Live. He said that the days of the week held no meaning anymore. Every day is today.
The pandemic also glaringly showed how interconnected we are. Whether we like it or not, what we do affects those around us, sometimes in ways we may not even know. Over the last year, I’ve seen our inevitable connectedness play out in small ways around the city.
Felkerino and I still do a small weekly coffee meetup outside of one of our favorite local spots. Whoever imagined we would be doing year round coffee outdoors? But we experience relatively mild winter here so we keep doing it to keep our spirits up.
Most people are very considerate and make space for each other on sidewalks that generally were not made for this kind of distancing. Our empathy bones have possibly grown a little bit during this time. I hope so.
I’ve also seen tangible signs of encouragement from the residents of D.C. From painted storefronts to chalk drawings on the sidewalk, our community has creative ways of telling each other to keep the faith.
This weekend, C and I strolled out together into a day that offered cold, sleet, ice, and a bit of snow for atmosphere. As we made our way over to the Washington Monument, our eyes caught some little hearts that someone had affixed carefully to cherry tree branches. A subtle pop of color and love, cheer on a gray day.
How many of these gestures have I passed without noticing, as I hustled from one place to the next? Or maybe I saw them, but did not pause to appreciate their significance.
The pandemic has slowed me into a more present state. At times, that frustrates, but others days it puts me right where I need to be – the precious now.
Here’s to the small acts that help us through.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone, I hope you found a moment of peace and presence wherever you are today.