During coffee with a friend on Sunday, one of the many random topics that came up was how to keep track of time during the pandemic. We agreed that being aware of what day of the week was the most possible. In my current life, four afternoons a week I work with students online, one evening a week I teach, a different evening is small group, and there are a few friends I run with on different days. Thanks to these connections, I have milestones to know what day it is.
Now being sure of the day’s date and the month are much more difficult. I know for example, that it’s July. That knowledge is thanks to the way to hot sunshine outside and having 31 days in a row where “July” is the right answer. The day’s date I can only be confident of after a look at a calendar. Around the 4th of July there were a lot of firework sounds, not limited to just the holiday of course.
Today is a Tuesday in July during the year of Covid-19. Right?
Realizing how little the actual date matters had me thinking about how this season has focused much more on the needs of the day than planning for some future date. Priorities are a lot smaller. Not meaning they are any less important or valuable. Just simpler.
- Where should I wear a mask?
- When will I go to the grocery store to avoid the most people?
- How do I complete the unemployment claim paperwork online?
- Will it be safe to hug my parents?
- I haven’t see my neighbor in weeks; is she okay?
These are not questions that require long conversations or major research to answer. Questions of this season seem to focus on what we need, what we want, and what we can do.
On Sunday, that combination included how to get a needed connection with a friend, a wanted French toast chai, and an hour outside without putting anyone in danger (which meant wearing a mask everywhere but the table). Big dreams are waiting more on the side for a future date while making it through today. And that’s okay. Those dreams are worth waiting for.
“We are the spark, that will light the fire that’ll burn the First Order down” (Poe Dameron, Star Wars: The Last Jedi). – #52sparks is my year-long writing series for 2020, based on an art prompt challenge. The spark that lights a fire to toast a marshmallow or to ravage a forest begins in the space of an inch. This series is to explore what hundreds of inches and words can do.