I sit at the kitchen table and study the wall calendar. I do this every-single- day. Three more days until the winter solstice here in the southern Hemisphere. Thirteen days til the end of the month. Then I’ll turn to a new page and continue counting days. Until quarantine ends. Until Covid-19 gets under control.
I was counting days and weeks and months more than a year ago, thinking “Well maybe just a few more months….” Time concepts have become amorphous, misleading, making predictions useless. It demands of us gargantuan doses of patience and the ability to adjust and reframe what we think of as ‘the future.’ Fortunately, some time concepts are fixed, giving me something to grab on to, to look forward to.
Today I’ll pot the gaily colored primroses I bought to brighten the drab end-of-fall garden. Tomorrow. Tomorrow morning (and every morning) I’ll savor a mug of aromatic coffee while reading the newspaper. The day after tomorrow I’ve ordered food to be delivered. A weekend of freedom from cooking. Next week. Next week maybe we’ll see our grandchildren.
Spring sparkles brightly in the not too distant future. The emerging sword-like freesia leaves in the garden tell me that I can count on it. Just three more calendar pages.
Summer, just five months away, tantalizes with visions of the temperate forests of southern Chile’s Lake District. How I long for the scent of a forest.
Structure in my days helps move me forward, gets me round the bend …to the next day, week, month. Ongoing projects – writing the historical novel based on my Scottish-American aunt’s life, discovering new facts on my family tree, exercising to facilitate the healing of a fractured vertebra – these all fill my days.
And I follow the Covid numbers on the news. Falling. Rising. We’re in quarantine again. Hope rides a roller coaster. The numbers creep closer to home. A son calls. His whole family has Covid, though relatively mild. The numbers mean something when they include family members and friends.
Two days ago, the Delta variant arrived in Chile. Back on the roller coaster again? I turn to the next calendar page…. and hope… and feel amazed at how resilient we are.