Quality of light

I just went out for a walk as I’m having a high-anxiety day.

There’s no particular reason for the anxiety, other than the pandemic and Ontario’s chaotic public health messaging right now, wondering if we’ve chosen the right path in keeping our kids going to school in-person, economic and career anxiety, plus the usual to-do list. Ha.

As I crossed the street, something about the scent of this particular cold and damp October day and the quality of light brought back a memory of living on Bingham Ave. No particular narrative to it, just a flash of the street, the hedges, the way light played over the pavement, and the streamers on my two wheeler. I’ve often thought this summer that my kids were having the kind of summers I used to have, endless free time at home stretching out over the weeks.

Today I felt the same kind of connection for myself. Not the free time, but how this collective experience of having to insulate ourselves from gathering, the sudden cessation of business, being forced back a few rungs on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – are we breathing? Are we healthy? Food? Shelter? – is reminding me of being a child. I’m confronted with what a narrow band of choice I have right now, and that’s speaking from a very privileged position.

Maybe that’s why conspiracy theories have been building up over time to break over all of us at a time when we need to respond with unity. Other forces are in control.

15 minutes in the park across the street along with a quick 40 jumping jacks shifted my energy. I saw a blue jay and heard a woodpecker, and looked out over the lake. On the way back I decided to jot this moment down in terrible draft format in this blog, why not.

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