The temperature broke seventy degrees Fahrenheit today. I'd opened my windows and had been peering into the sunlight. Still though, it seemed too good to be true and so I kept on my sweater and long pants as I found my way down the stairwell (66 steps) and out into the expanse.
Seems like other folks were doubtful as well. I pretty much had the outdoors for myself. I saw a nurse and a resident sitting on a bench across the pond. I stopped for a beat and just looked at them. I felt a breeze of happiness. It was only for a moment, but it was there. I think it was just something good about two people sharing a moment of kindness.
I talk to a lot of people with my job. It seems our conversations are rarely a trifle. This two year penitentiary of masks and distance has sucked all of the pleasantries right out of me. If people ask me "How are you?", I just don't have it in me to tell them the expected, "I'm good, how are you?" I tell them exactly how I'm doing. Don't ask, don't tell.
Well, maybe it is a getting old thing more than it is a pandemic exhaustion thing? Old people do like to tell you all about their ailments! It's probably both, I suppose. What I do know is that people answer back in kind when they see my sincerity. I've had a lot of sidelined sidebar conversations that started with a little transparency.
February was a weirdo month for me: two years divorced, ex-wife remarried (he's a great fella), and my book was published. I'd have never guessed that this would be the context of that accomplishment. In all things, God works for the good... seems to be true. And a HUGE (spoken with my best Donald Trump imitation, and can I say how much I miss that man) thank you to my mom and dad. They've been incredible to me.
So if you see me on the trail around the pond and you ask me how I'm doing, don't be surprised when suddenly you're telling me something you've not shared with anyone else. It happens. It surrounds me. I'll tell you my story and you'll share your own.
It is sunny today and I can already sense that warmer days are coming. But I can also still feel the grip and shiver of the passed months, and still the salt is on the sidewalks.