It is the spring of 2020 and the plague is upon us.
I have every convenience and comfort. I ramble through the days like a protected queen in her castle. I wander my spacious colourful home and nap, write, clean and watch TV. We eat well and we walk through the forest or stand by the sea. I am so fortunate to have company; my beloved partner Joe and my youngest child Bliss are by my side. Exceptional company. I am relieved in my heart to think of my other two children in their homes, also with their beloved partners. Everyone is well and all I have to do is stay put and keep calm. And I am doing it; I am healthy and isolated and thankful.
The dark blue sea has broken through the white ice and the green is slowly returning to the landscape. The grass is grey blue presently but will suddenly burst into bright chlorophyll green after a few days of sun. The birds are madly chirping and the bugs are creeping out of the corners. A ladybug on the bed sheet, a spider dashing back under the shelves. The cats are rolling on the dry earth. We are all smelling the air.
I know my chances at surviving the plague are fairly good but I can also be described as immunocompromised. I have a low white blood cell count and I don’t know if it has gone up in the last half year. I have had three visits to the oncology clinic, so bright and shiny, in the Moncton Hospital. What caused it, can I heal? There are no answers in such places. In any case, it’s all good as long as it does not drop further.
If this were a normal spring, I would go to the clinic to get my blood tested to see where the WBC count is, and I would be optimistic because I have cut back on everything and anything that causes stress. I would be making birthday plans for Bliss, my youngest son’s birthday, I would be thinking of driving to Halifax for work and to see my other son, Frank. Go out for a walk, a bite, a beer. Enjoy Halifax. I would be planning a trip to Toronto to see my crazy sister Kate who I miss and worry about. I would stay with a good pal and visit other family and old friends. Get on and off trains, eat from restaurants. I would be thinking about when I could visit my daughter Rose and her beloved Mike in California. I would be hesitating to fly because of the damage it causes to our world. But I would look at flights anyway.
Instead we are locked in our homes like domestic cats and I can’t help but see the last year week, the last month, the last year, with rosy glasses. My health and strength have been increasing every month. I was amazed how much people enjoyed my play reading last spring. We had a blissful Christmas last year all kids home and many nights of games and days of laughter. I remember the trip Bliss and I took to California last spring. What a delightful treat to be doted on my Rose and her Michael. Starting my day with a few ripe figs from the tree and a a few laps in the pretty tiled pool. I even savor what we did last month. Was it only a few weeks ago that Frank was visiting and we all went out maple sugaring and had a delicious breakfast followed by an afternoon of perfect tobogganing?
Is my life always so glorious? I have to say, yes, yes it is. And I appreciate every moment. Every warm homemade dinner by the fireplace. If I live through this plague without getting it, that will be fortunate. But in following years the virus will still be floating about and I will still be vulnerable. Authoritative governments are likely to enforce vaccinations that are as dangerous to me as the virus. The dream of traveling to Italy with my Joe, a trip that I have begun to set my heart on, might not be possible. And I will accept that fate as I know that I have had a life so full of joy and fun that I can’t possibly be greedy for more.
I am happy to be alive right now. I am full of joy. This is our time, we get to survive this, we get to fight for the earth, we get to sing and dance.