Near my new(ish) apartment is a beautiful little park behind a school. 2 minute walk from me. In the center is a man-made lake with a small geyser that shoots out water. Sometimes it rotates and you’re showered with tiny water droplets that evaporate within seconds, even in the cold, since it’s such a small amount.

My new friend Apollo. Met him at the park. His human is the tiny one in the background.

Winter, summer, spring, this little park with its lake and stage on top of a Rocky-like steps is consistent. Always beautiful. Always peaceful. The sky always seems to be swirly and calm, even in rain and snow (when Delaware gets snow that is).

In this time of constant changes, I can always rely on this little patch of land to bring me a sense of calm, no matter how angry, frustrated, scared, overwhelmed I get.

Like most, this pandemic has me thinking differently every day. Some days I am — and I hate to say this but it’s the truth — grateful for the pause. It’s given me the chance to reflect and listen and stay. At such a crucial time in my life I am sitting still and thinking about what future I want and assess how far I’ve come (and how far I still need to go.)

Spring came for a week and the flowers were besides themselves.

Then there are others when I am consumed by the collective grief being felt and I can’t breath. I’m saddened by the lives lost and the suffering that doesn’t seem to be letting up. I’m heartbroken at the response of employers, politicians, etc. I’m sad that there are so many just dying because people want to be reckless. That sadness morphs to anger and frustration.

And then there is the guilt. Guilt at being healthy (although if one does not behave that can change any moment) and guilt at being in the space of privilege I am.

I sat (6 feet apart) from coworkers in the park the other day to soak up the sun. A couple of them sad they’re lonely. Their sadness comes from being by themselves and not even having access to their adopted community to lean on. That brought guilt too. I love my partner. He lives less than 5 minutes by foot. That loneliness isn’t one I’ve felt in a long time. Part of me felt bad about this. Make me want to be alone too, to empathize.

Little door in an old tree found on a nature walk to clear the mind.

And then I remember: By God’s grace I am healthy, those I love are healthy, technology is amazing and I can still check in on my loved ones. The guilt I feel is normal but I cannot dwell on it.

I’m trying (as I always always do) to have a better handle on my emotions. I’m trying to not swim in the terrible ones.

A few months back I let my emotions get the best of me. I started lashing out at the people around me and it cost me some respect, I fear. Now I’m working to gain that trust again and repair those relationships. I never want to be a slave to anger, fear, sadness. I don’t want them to rule my mind.

I am grounded / I am humble / I am one with everything.

Kimya Dawson

I’m watching the entire Star Wars series right now. I’m on Episode III. Where Anakin Skywalker succumbs to the dark side out of fear and frustration. They’re fiction, I’m aware. But the message holds true. Fear, anger, sadness, these are normal and healthy emotions. I just cannot drown in a lake of them. I am not a Sith. The dark side is not my home. It never has and I needed this quiet time to remember that.

Until next time, fellow Padawans.


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