On a midafternoon walk to clear my head, I’m surprised to see so many people in the small neighborhood I pass through on my way to the woods. Generally, it’s just me and the same dog walkers — all a good twenty years older than me, sometimes singly, sometimes in chatty pairs. But couples and families are out — everyone keeping their distance — some folks walking dogs, some simply strolling in the sunlight.
In Vermont, we’re on a Stay Home, Stay Safe mandate — my polite state’s kinder and gentler version of crouch down and shelter-in-place. Later in the day, we hear Vermont schools won’t re-open this year. Even for those who don’t have a student, the message is crystalline: there’s no end in sight. The other side of this disease — for health, for our economy — lies in a chasm.
But we’re not living in a chasm.
Across the street — way more than six feet — strangers and I take our time and pointedly greet each other. Later, during a phone interview for work, I talk with a woman I’ve never met. Far outside of the article’s topic — the homeless in Vermont — we talk and talk, exchanging stories of our daughters, our early motherhood, of these uncertain times. Why not? I thank her profusely for the call, not an email, and we agree to meet in person…. in some future time.
The summer river.
It’s happy to walk across it.
My hands with zori sandal.
4 thoughts on “Who’s Walking”
Yes, I’ve been surprised here in my neighborhood (in Nebraska) how many people I see out walking when I go out to exercise. I think people are starved to get out of their house, and of course there is also the arrival of spring to celebrate. But when we cross paths, the interactions seem awkward; no one wants to risk a conversation.
Interesting to hear from Nebraska. It’s unnerving how everyone eyes each other, as if we’re all potential carriers — which we are.
Spring is definitely the best thing on our horizon these days, too.
We’ve been walking like crazy. Not seeing too many other out, tho… then again, there aren’t too many others to see in Stannard!
Stannard, Vermont: not exactly a high-density population.