Notes from a pandemic

Years from now, what will you most remember about the COVID-19 pandemic?

I don’t think I will ever forget watching the caseload explode — or the anxiety of venturing out, only to find empty shelves.

Millions of people fell ill, and billions more felt isolated as lockdowns were imposed.

Billions of humans feel your pain, buddy.

But in spite of that — or maybe because of it — people sought new ways to connect. Creativity blossomed. Nature reclaimed lost ground.

These are the memories I hope will most endure for me, years from now.


My daily walks took on a new flavor as humans became wary and elusive …

… while once-shy animals came out of hiding.

I dubbed 2020 “The Year of the Deer.”
“If you pay attention I will give you a buck,” says Buddha.

The silence also prompted me to notice more small things, and to linger longer outside.

In hindsight, probably not a great idea to linger on this particular evening.

Another joy during my daily walks was stumbling across random acts of creativity. Some were small, like the painted stones someone stashed in the woods …

… while others were bigger and more impressive. I’m still in awe of the young woman who drew this dragon free-hand, chatting the whole time as I watched.

Even the younger kids’ creativity flourished with random acts of flash fiction …

… and a hopscotch game that captured perfectly how the days seemed to drag on and on.

But by far my favorite discovery was Regula Russelle’s charming little quaranzines — which really deserve their own post.

Eventually this drive to connect and create rubbed off on me, and I acquired a new hobby.

I admit I’d always thought of card-making as a bourgeois pastime for ladies with too much free time. But now I understand the attraction: Stamps and stencils allow even art-challenged people like me to create something with their hands.

I was especially proud of this birthday card for my friend James.

Over the next few months, I watched the fawns lose their spots and the seasons change as the world tried to adapt to a new normal.

And as winter came, I wondered: In the year ahead, would humans find a way to keep our new-found connections to nature — and to each other?

That story is still being written.