Pandemic Prose

Hope is the Thing with Flowers

Back in the swim

Dear Reader:

In these trying times, it is a very bad idea to say things such as, “My garden and pool are keeping me sane.” I found myself making that statement for the last few months…until I no longer could.

You’d think that swimming and sunbathing in California during the summer would be a given. But, not this year. 2020 has delivered another challenge. My beloved state is in flames. Hundreds of wildfires are burning, mostly in the north half of the state, but the entire state has been impacted. My home is not in any danger; the closest fire is about 50 miles away. Yet, last week I sat by the window and watched the ash fall from the sky. It resembled snowfall, but without the joy.

By the end of the day, my backyard had become one big ashtray. Evidence of the destruction coated walkways, furniture and plants. The sky turned grey and then yellow. The air was unhealthy to breathe.

As our Governor, Gavin Newsom, said while speaking remotely at the Democratic National Convention: “If you’re in denial about climate change, come to California.” I believe Mother Nature is really pissed off and I understand. She has not been treated with the care she deserves.

After a week inside with air purifiers humming in every room, we had a respite. For the past three days, the Delta Breeze, has cleared the air enough for me to spend time in my yard and pool.

Swimming is good for me both physically and emotionally. I’d missed it greatly. It’s magical to feel the water lift my body (extra covid weight and all). Floating without a care in the world is very addictive… better than a vodka cocktail or even a good book.

And then, there’s the repetition of swimming laps, racing from one end of the pool to the other. Over and over again. No time for thoughts. Until, I look up and notice the flowers that bloomed while the smoke and ash swirled in the sky and I sat inside. There’s a bouquet at the far end of the pool waiting for me.

A pink surprise

Hope is the thing in pink. Wishing you both “hope” and “pink.” I think we need a little of both right now.