My daughter mishears that Vermont’s governor extended the Stay Home, Stay Safe order to May 31, so when I read the order is actually May 15, the extension doesn’t look so bad. In the middle of March, that date would have appeared impossible.
What’s impossible and what’s not has changed enormously in the past few weeks.
In our little world, we walk and we talk. We walk alone. We walk together. The world as we know it might possibly be crumbling around us — 30% unemployment in our state that a month ago had the second lowest in the nation, a Main Street shuttered closed, people I’ve known for years suddenly foreign in masks — but the possible continues.
Every morning — snow or not — birdsong strengthens.
My daughters and I walk out to the ruins of the town pest house, built a hundred years ago in fear of smallpox. There, geese honk clamorously on the lake. From a white pine, two large birds swoop out from the highest branches. My youngest says simply, “Eagles.”
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular, but because it never forgot what it could do.
— Naomi Shihab Nye, “Famous”