The Time We Have

Some of us find ourselves with more time on our hands lately. Some of us are deemed an “essential employee”. Whatever your situation, and I hope everyone safe, healthy, and financially stable throughout this strange journey we’re all moving through, there is TIME– to capture, seize, harness. Our state is on a “Safer-at-Home” order. My neighbor says he’s “going out of his mind” yet in that same breath he said he wiped the grey dust off his guitar and clumsily yet earnestly strummed the strings, something he hadn’t done in years. Our community pool is closed due to the current situation. Last Thursday I strolled around the neighborhood for a much-needed leg stretch after work (I’m considered an essential employee and have been sitting in front of a computer every day for hours, not something I’m used to as a Montessori teacher). A mom and her young daughter had filled two blue paddling pools, placed them in their driveway, and were giggling and playfully splashing each other.

Although we have implemented distance learning at our school and conduct regular Zoom meetings, some of my students have taken up knitting. Some have baked sweet, chocolaty treats. Some have FaceTimed for 6 hours while watching the same Netflix series.

I have seen even more families taking walks together than usual. My brother said it is the same where he lives, 700 miles away from me. I’ve smelled the waft of charred food on grills more nights than not. I’ve heard an unusual abundance of birds singing in the tops of the oak and Norfolk pines. Gone are the shrieks of sirens every hour, the blasting hum of airplanes overhead, the smell of air thick with the pollution of car exhaust and industry.

Even though I’m still working, I’ve had a few more moments to enjoy the sound of birdsong, make brownies from scratch, read my current fiction of choice, water my neighbor’s garden, connect with friends I’ve haven’t talked to in months. At first I was consumed by the news and social media but I’m making a concerted effort to put the phone down for chunks at a time (there are some funny memes out there, though).

This week is my son’s 16th birthday. There will not be a car in the driveway with a bow on it (that wasn’t happening anyway). We will not have our usual hibachi feast with friends and family. But we will celebrate in the quiet and simple fashion we’re all becoming familiar with.

I’m just embracing the good that can come from a dire situation. And there is good here. And there is time.

(But I haven’t been to Walmart to buy toilet paper).


Filed under Observations

10 responses to “The Time We Have

  1. Hi. Yes, I too have found lots of peace during this time of worry and chaos due to the forced stay-in from corona. It’s good to read your take on it. You are helping to spread the goodness underlying the panic and kudos to you. People are reading and listening! (although I haven’t touched my own website Maybe Boomer in 3 years, but still like receiving occasional writings from others on WordPress. Hope you’re doing well. – Mike Andberg, one time fellow student like you under Debra Mars’ guidance.)

    • Thank you Mike for reading and for those kind and inspiring comments. Of course I remember you! I thoroughly enjoyed your blog. I hope you are continuing your writing journey. I’m glad you are also finding some peace during this time.

    • Debra Marrs

      Hey there, M.A. Long time no hear from you!! It’s great to see you and your words here today. I miss your posts on Maybe Boomer too. I hope all is well at your end of the rainbow too. Would love to hear from you too!

  2. tron

    great blog jen
    now all my dust is gone now and house is cleaner lol
    but still alittle bored
    and good luck finding toilet paper lol

  3. ron

    ron not tron lol oops

    • Debra Marrs

      Jenifer! You have such a talent in observation. This is a much-needed reflection on a few of the simpler and more important things right now. Your students are super fortunate to have you as their ally–always and especially now. Thank you for putting voice to many of the things I’m thinking too. More please! And Happy Birthday to Ian! Gah… 16?? I remember when you were pregnant with him!! Miss you both!

      • Ah, your words give me great smiles and happiness. My mentor and cheerleader always! I appreciate your comments and yes there will be more. I’m feeling the flow of the writing process again since so many many months (working full time and Montessori training full time). And thank you for Ian’s birthday wishes. He had a nice, chill day. Time is ever so fleeting. We miss you too!!

    • Thanks for your dedicated readership, Ron!

  4. Jude

    Truth. Thank you for sharing.

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