Every day for a year, I have checked the new reported cases chart in the NYTimes. I wanted to will a change, make the numbers come down when so many times, for so many months, the counts only went up. Yesterday, the shape of the chart resembled the Little Prince’s a boa constrictor who has swallowed an elephant. And I almost smiled. One corner of the horror melted away. Truthfully, the chart doesn’t really look like Santoine de Saint Exupery’s drawing but . . . it was a playful imagining that I’ve have far too few of during the year.
Can I sigh with relief now?
I do want to sigh with relief. But South America, Mongolia, India and France still struggle. We are in this together. No, real sighing until we are all safe, until we are all vaccinated and I can feel the mist in front of Iguazu Falls and the silence in the Amarbayasgalant Monastery, stand at the tip of the reflective pool of the Taj Mahal and watch the repairs being done on Notre Dame. Then, a big sigh, many sighs will be in order.
Even here, coming back to what was normal, what will be normal is a slow slide, no giant leaps.
The three-day Memorial Day weekend was cold and wet. Heat clicked back on and outdoor plans were quashed—Julia refuses to enjoy the rain. We went to a first movie, played indoor miniature golf and shopped for graduation shoes. We had a weekend guest. I noticed how often we wore our masks making our way in the world. And although, I felt incredibly daring going to a movie, ordering and eating popcorn without a mask (taking the mask off only once we sat down), there were only about a dozen movie goers in a big theater and social distancing was not a problem. I did not need to test any daring tendencies after the decision was made.
Julia is back at school for two more weeks. Senior sports recognition is tonight, prom is Saturday, graduation next Wednesday. I need to order a corsage or wristlet and some decorations for the house and a cake. Julia loves cake.
The white peonies are beginning to bloom and also fall over after the rain, so I cut some, noticing they are one of my favorite varieties, although white and I prefer pink, and I can smell them as soon as I enter the dining room. Yearly, I notice that peony leaves are so regular with perfectly shaped veins that they could be drawn into a child’s picture. Two weeks or so of garden bliss.