Four months ago, a bit rashly, we made plans. We selected dates and spent a small fortune on what would surely be a spring break trip to remember. The timing was perfect, flights were affordable, and four days at sea would be a great way to test whether we were the cruising-type. We selected excursions, taking into account the secret wishes of some and the hoped-for time to reconnect of others.
Then, the tide began to change.
There were recommendations. Things didn’t seem real, a bit far off, perhaps overblown. Two weeks ago, we considered the possibility of a simple beach getaway. Keeping the flights, adding a few nights of what would be cheap hotel rooms, and enjoying some time in the sand and sun. That seemed reasonable, doable, and there was still a deep uneasiness that I couldn’t ignore.
We cancelled our trip.
That was ten days ago. It feels more like a month. In those days, we have seen the virus reach Michigan. We have witnessed the Governor-ordered closure of K-12 schools for three weeks, while colleges and universities have shifted to online courses and cancelled commencement ceremonies. Businesses have closed, church services are streamed, and so many people, myself included, are working remotely from home.
Today, the plane will leave without us.
No longer, do I believe these measures to be too much. That uneasiness I felt still lingers, but for the uncertainty of the days ahead, and those who will be the most affected by this new normal. We are happily staying home. We are counting our blessings, and making memories of a different sort than originally planned. This loss, while still a loss, is one taken in stride with the reality of the larger losses others are facing. Losses that seem more imminent, and that prompt more video chats and exchanged messages than in recent months. With hope, we will continue to navigate through these coming days, acknowledging our discomfort, our wariness, and seeking with every ounce of our being, the silver linings we know still exist, because we believe…
the tide will change again.
This post was written as part of a monthly challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers, to encourage writing and community. While the goal is to write a Slice of Life entry each day throughout the month of March, distance and busyness made that reality less possible. An unexpected positive twist to the COVID-19 pandemic — the cancellations and recommendations to socially distance — means I have more margin in my schedule to write.