Sunrise greets us earlier now, while the last streaks of day creep over the clouds well past six p.m. Each morning the sun sprinkles more gold on the earth.
Aesthetically the outdoors invites us, but be sure to take a hat and gloves. Temperatures confirm that winter’s departure will not be rushed.
March begins with morning walks under full sunlight. I can almost escape for a post-work run with my shadow. Almost, not yet.
Our skies welcome and deceive. Let’s face it, it’s still cold. On breezy days, wind rushes over the remaining snow. Gusts blow me one direction while they thwart my progress in another.
Sun’s sparkle assure us that winter is packing its bags, yet the bitter chill resists going in the suitcase.
We are in the in betweens, no more so than this year. I’ve never watched the sky so closely, or been more in tune with waxing and waning daylight and daily shifts in temperatures.
It’s the beginning of another kind of in between, too. I dream that we can move about and socialize more closely soon.
No doubt the pandemic is a zero stars affair. Still, throughout this year, I’ve been forced to reimagine the environment and it has not all been negative. My employer worked to establish remote capabilities so we could keep business going from our homes. Less time on the run has meant reduced hours in transit to begin and end the work day.
This year at home dramatically enhanced my eating habits, which I admit were already a work in process when this whole crisis began. I bought into a Community Sponsored Agriculture share that I have more flexibility to go collect each week. Because I don’t have to brown bag it to the office every day I have more control over preparing food and less incentive and opportunity to impulsively dip into the office candy jar.
Squished on sidewalks while trying to maintain six feet of distance from others helped me see up close how much space we concede to cars. It made me think more about the ways cities like the one I reside in can make better decisions about infrastructure that are more inclusive of people who want to walk, run, engage in active transportation, and simply spend time outdoors with each other.
I am not nostagic for what was. Nostalgia overlooks truth and mentally reconfigures the past into some ideal that never existed, anyway. The pandemic also crushed my sentimental side and focused my gaze on the present.
We are not quite to the next chapter, yet I already hear people saying we do not want to return to what was while we simultaneously get back to some kind of normal.
Okay, well what is that and how do we work toward it in this in between time? I do not relish current circumstances, but this seismic disruption forced most of us to cast aside “this is how we’ve always done it” stances, take a hard look at what we have now, and shed some notions of tradition.
The answer is not clear or known, but waxing days under winter skies tell me that there is possibility for something better. I’ll use these in between times to work toward it.