by Karla Locke
This was the directive mandated for Washington Citizens and others around the world. As we hunkered down in our homes a quiet stillness settled into our communities. Our neighborhoods reverted back to what I remembered from childhood…. quiet, friendly, comforting. Gone was the busyness, the chronic stress of hurry-up, of people living a frantic-have-to-get-this-done life.
The sounds of Spring could be heard – yard work, birds chirping, bees buzzing. The sound beautiful and soothing. Some might have found the quietness eerie, but I found solace in it. An openness solitude filled with gentle reflection and much needed – time.
We are so fortunate to live in a community where some outdoor activities, like walking, were allowed and there is room in which to do so without running into others – practicing our physical distancing. Walking was a healthy way to deal with the stress of the quarantine and not become a couch potato. It also became a way to explore. To venture through surrounding neighborhoods.
In the previous, “normal” life, we whizzed through these neighborhoods, not really noticing anything or anyone. But, now, suddenly I found the time to enjoy the present and find the hidden beauty and unusual gems in our surrounding neighborhoods. My husband, myself, and our cameras would hit the sidewalks and explore neighborhoods we never really paid attention to before. We took it a step further and picked a photography theme for each walk. I called them, “What I saw on my walk today.”
I know that many would like life to return to “normal.” I just wish they had found peace during this time and will slow down and really enjoy and commune with the NOW and their communities because that is all we really have and really need for our NOW and for our future.
I wish for a better “Norm.”
A return to when neighbors were actually neighbors, not someone hiding in their homes, removed from the world after a rough day. When family meant dinners together, game nights, time with our children. When life was slow enough to enjoy a good book, play outside games, bake bread, putter in the yard, long walks, quiet Sundays, hand holding, and true QUALITY TIME.
There are many lessons to be learned from this time, but were we truly listening… Will we follow through and continue with some of what we learned? I hope so. Now that we are in Phase 2, I know I already miss some of what the quietness was offering to us and some of the benefits it was providing the World. I can already fill the pace picking up. Normal is not what it used to be, it’s what it should be – family, friends, neighbors, communities and a well-cared for Earth.
Theme: Downtown Alley and Empty Street Scenes, Neighborhood Alleys, Washington Park