Sunday, March 15, 2020

Rail Trail Therapy

We took a walk on the Rail Trail this afternoon. We were not the only ones with that idea. It was crowded - well, for that particular section it felt crowded. Sometimes, when we’re walking and the only ones there, I ask Chuck if he phoned ahead to reserve it just for us. Today, not so much. As clouds moved in and out in front of the sun, we saw solo walkers, runners and bicyclists; couples, and young families with children and dogs, strollers and tricycles. We all exchanged greetings as we passed each other. A lot of “Beautiful day, isn’t it?” because it really was.

For that hour we all kept to our family groups. We all breathed deeply of the fresh late winter / nearly spring air. We let our legs carry us, almost on autopilot, as we tried to let the news headlines recede for a little while.

Respite is important. Moving, breathing, listening to our own breath, feeling the wind on our faces - all of it is restorative.

So is social connection. We currently have social isolation as the headline. But we can still connect. Phone calls, emails, texts, Facetime, Skype, letters, cards, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook… so many ways to reach out and stay in touch.

Rabbis and Cantors are streaming services in empty sanctuaries, but that livestream is illuminating a living room, a kitchen, a studio apartment, as well as the congregants there joining in prayers and singing the songs. We are finding new ways to connect.

Keep breathing. Keep focusing on the greater good. Pick up the book or the knitting or the model ship or the stack of crossword puzzles. Haul out the Scrabble and Monopoly boards. Be present. When the worry rises up, let it. Sit with it for a moment and then use a lifeline to phone a friend. In this challenging time, those calls are unlimited.

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