I currently find myself in a bit of a chase. My days are whirling by so fast, I can barely keep up, juggling an extraordinary number of things. It’s so weird how time can seemingly distort itself. There was a time this spring, when I felt like time practically stood still. We were in Covid lockdown, every day was more or less the same, and it didn’t really make a difference what day it actually was. I think it also helped that the days were longer, but for a while there, it felt like I lived quite a blessed existence, safe and protected from whatever might lurk outside our little bubble. Life was lived a little in slow motion.
However, things gradually speeded up, and eventually kicked me out of my blissful dream. When you get constantly pounded by events, they tend to pile up like cars in a multiple car crash, and it becomes nearly impossible to separate the long string of coincidental, temporal collisions. When I try to disentangle the various dates, and I realize that whatever seemed to have taken place in a distant memory, in fact only happened three weeks ago, it’s overwhelming.
I’m not sure exactly what triggered this reaction of mine. Remember back in spring, when we saw interviews with front line workers? Harrowing visions of exhausted, overwhelmed healthcare workers, working double shifts to keep up, and the visible mental cost the stress extolled. That was then, when it was all new and fresh. Over time, the stories became more patient centered, and soon enough, it became a numbers game. The folks on the front lines faded and the rest of us entered into an odd sense of insulation.
But guess what…? Whatever it was that brought it back to me, gave me an acute realization that although I myself have gotten numbed to the stark reality of the world around me, these front line heroes are still very much in the thick of it. While from my privileged perch things seemed more or less normalized, we are in fact entering a third spike of infections. And although we don’t hear much about it anymore, I imagine there are still shortages of critical resources, central to their wellbeing and protection. They can still be found sobbing in their cars, upon completion of their double shifts.
Once again, I realize how lucky I am to be in a line of work that focuses on biophilia and beauty, and that allows me to spend ample time in the exhilarating diversity of Nature, in the company of living things. It beats crying in a parking lot any way you look at it, and offers the kind of enviable grounding and healing we all crave. This evening, I was privileged to visit a new friend’s garden when the fading light hit it just so. I dedicate this week’s Vignette shot to all of you who spend all hours of day and night running up and down fluorescently lit hospital corridors, without much opportunity to see the fragile fall beauty on full display outside, as you bust your tails trying to salvage as many as possible from the potential tragedy of a highly politicized, often ignored pandemic. You may no longer be top of the news, but you are at the top of my heart. Thank you.