Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Coronacation Diaries, Episode 10

The Day the Sun Came Out

Three things happened today: First, I legit got to leave the neighborhood because I had physical therapy. Second, a piece I wrote while working on my doctorate was published today. But most importantly, today the sun came out!

We've been working hard to get out of the house, take lots of walks, get fresh air, and generally not dissolve into mashed potatoes on the couch. But, with both of us working from home and a full pantry (and a box of wine), we haven't had a legitimate excuse to leave. Today, however, I drove out of the driveway, guilt-free, and went to PT. The physical therapist complimented my leggings. I didn't tell her that I'd worn them now for three days in a row. On my way back from PT, I stopped by Quality Dairy to get cash and a giant Diet Coke. It tasted like heaven. As Tom Keifer so eloquently penned, "Don't know what you got (till it's gone)."

And what's been gone for a long, long time around here (besides bars and restaurants and face-to-face conversations and schools and gyms and some semblance of a schedule) is the sun. If you drew a line between the 12th least sunny city in the US and #25 on the list of US cities that get the least sun. our house would be dead in the middle. The center of MIchigan is dark and gloomy and everyone has SAD and is generally sad.

But today, the sun came out.

Today felt like spring. It was 50 degrees and gorgeous. The water sparkled like it had been glitter-bombed. All of the bulbs suddenly shot through the dead and decaying leaves. The trees budded. The birds sang. The fat daddy robins strutted their stuff. And everyone was outside. You can tell that we've all been cooped up for a bit, and that we're all going slightly insane.

There was the biker couple riding bikes: the man with his handlebar mustache and long grey hair flying in the wind as he yelled, "my legs hurt! Let's go up this hill!" and his lady friend called out to me, "hello, person! Hello, person's dog!"

Walking past the house on the corner, I see a man, wearing a protective mask, holding a pickaxe. I try not to stare.

In the next yard, a tree full of birds, alive with an orchestra of sound. Two yards later, three kids and a dad, all in shorts and t-shirts, barefoot, hanging Easter eggs from the trees with bright ribbons. Walking by, a couple in fur-lined parkas. Swerving around them, a child on a bike wearing winter boots and a t-shirt. And racing by me, a fit runner in a sports bra and short shorts.

Today, I planted the bulbs and I took down the candy canes and the metal snowman in the front flower bed. I dug the flower whirligig and the glass gazing ball out of the shed and stuck them emphatically through the dead leaves and into the earth.

Today, the clouds cleared. 

And we went outside, staggering slightly in the blinding sun. 

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