Invitation, Mary Oliver

I made this board in January last year, just after Mary Oliver died, long before a pandemic turned the world upside down. I've created so many boards over the years, erased them, created something new in their place. This one, I couldn't bring myself to erase. I still have it. It sits in my family room, where I see it every day. Mary Oliver's words felt so important and true to me last January, in ways I didn't fully understand until now, watching humans in the grip of something we can't control, or reason with, or kill, or ignore.

Where I live, we're 23 days into our quarantine. Every day now, I talk to my friends. (Ironically, that wasn't the case before, when we were all busy and it was easy to put things off until we had more time.)

My friends are  dealing with illness, anxiety, anger, sadness, isolation. I'm lucky to still have some work right now; I try not to think too much about our finances.

I consume the news, which is all coronavirus all the time, the statistics I can't wrap my head around... And then, inevitably, I go for a walk, only to discover it's spring outside.

Everything is green and growing. So many people are out walking with so many dogs. Flowers are blooming. The path I walk parallels a ravine that runs through the middle of my neighborhood. The frogs and crickets there sound healthy and happy to be alive. The ducks waddle around, get into squabbles, settle down to rest in the spring sun. They watch me lazily, and warily at the same time. I feel grateful for them, for the ravine, and this path, and all the dogs out walking their humans.

This being alive thing is serious business. It's hard right now. If you're struggling, I see you. I guess I just wanted to say that. And I wanted to send love, from my still-beating heart to yours.