The Traveling Writing Room
Covid Birthday Portrait
The era of oddness
I celebrated my 69th birthday last week. It was a costume party, of sorts, with face masks and rubber gloves. The entertainment was on the computer as I watched grandchildren bounce around in front of the camera, exit, reappear, squeal, wish me a happy birthday, exit, reappear, well, you get the idea. The surprise of my birthday was that one of those families I was interacting with on Zoom, were actually out on my front porch. I figured it out after about five minutes because I’m a writer whose power of observation is quite keen.
Once the Zoom party had squeezed out all the fun we could, we said our goodbyes with virtual hugs and kisses. Those outside on my porch continued to visit through the windows. We decided to take a walk around the neighborhood together, practicing social-distancing, of course. Some of us wore masks and and spanned the entire distance from sidewalk to street to the other sidewalk. We spoke loudly so we could hear each other. The neighbors watching from the safety of their homes could hear us as well. Later, the porch bunch said their good-byes with virtual hugs, etc, as the three-year old of the bunch cried because his cruel MeMe would not pick him up, or kiss him, or hug him. His dad had already spent the afternoon swatting him away from me like a pesky fly, so I wouldn’t doubt that his other ‘grandma’ is now his favorite (if she wasn’t already).
Yes, we are living in the era of oddness. Normal everyday things we took for granted are now altered or not allowed at all. Groceries that come into the house are wiped down before they are put away. Mail is checked while wearing gloves and sits for a day before we read it. Since I am of the age that is most vulnerable, my family stands guard over me like King Arthur’s knights. Thus far, the dragon, Covid, has been kept at bay.
Our world is topsy-turvy right now. Our precious freedom to do as we please has had its wings clipped. While some are not happy about it, they look beyond themselves, to serve and save others. Some ignore the precautions and walk out their doors in defiance. They are the few, but it seems their numbers are growing as frustration begins to override common sense and common good.
Yes, this era of oddness has found us with nowhere to hide. This threat to humanity has shown each of us who we really are. Covid-19 has revealed our character worts and all. Our humanness, our hearts, our faith or lack of, our kindness or lack of, our wisdom or lack of, our generosity or lack of. You get the picture. I leave it to you to tussle with who is staring back at you in the mirror.
As for myself, I see room for improvement for sure. But, I also see a woman who wants to believe in the good of all folks. That most care for each other even if names are not known. Most would take a bullet for another. Most would give someone else the last bite. Most would bow their heads in prayer unashamed.
I leave you with your thoughts. I pray you are well. I pray that who we are on the other side of this era will make us proud.