Nogal Porch

March 13, 2020
Nogal House
Indian Divide, New Mexico


Today is a day for rationale. I feel the need to share this today because even my own usual calm has been disrupted. If just yesterday I returned from a short venture north to a rich appreciation of my simple existence I am off kilter as well. I rarely live with fear even if there is an occasional concern. I have over the last few weeks distracted myself too often with my concerns and even found justification for worry. A week and half ago I ventured to California in spite of the need for caution and even flew back from there, against my better judgement. If I was the only one on the plane with a mask I was not embarrassed, and I am glad that I wore it. Two days ago I found out that three of the TSA agents at that airport are ill. They were on a different shift and airline than the time of my passage through there but they got sick from someone! I have tried to keep my distance from everyone since that trip. Today is day nine since I traveled and I am feeling well, and rather relieved also. Hopefully I avoided any contact with the virus but I am still nervous.

Today is a day for rationale. I perused my dwelling when I returned home from the last adventure and found it to be adequate. If anything I am as prepared as anyone for a lengthy containment, though I wish the windmill worked. Aside from relying on stored water I have all that I need for weeks of isolation, for all the good it may do. It seems that at some point we will all be at risk to get sick as this is likely the new normal. None of these things just go away on their own, but it is nice to hope they will. Regardless of the future it is the consequences of the present that loom over all of our heads. It isn’t just the worry as to how ill we will become, or how that process plays out but the volume of what is happening around us. Things will never be quite the same after this is over and we know it. It will be months before we really know the entire scope of this event, and we may never shake hands or hug someone again without recalling this time, let alone use any public facilities! I’m rather glad I have worked in wastewater for so many years as I am already mindful of the things that lurk on surfaces and ultimately my hands. Sadly, I still bite my nails on occasion.

What is my rationale this morning? My appreciation for every aspect of my life is at a peak. The warmth of my family nearby is as precious as it has ever been and I am more concerned for them than I am for myself. I want my son and his wife to be safe and I hope this is not the new normal for my grandkids. I had the longest conversation I have ever had with those two boys last night and they listened closely and contributed their thoughts. I wish they weren’t so wise or aware but then we had our own fears at their age also. Hell, we grew up with the Vietnam War, 1984 and the Brave New World, birth defects from medications and friends who had polio. Maybe this isn’t so very different after all? At least our children are the least vulnerable to this latest scourge and if anyone has to get sick, let it be me. I have a fairly good survival index and if I don’t make it it’s been a good ride! If it spares us all, as I hope it will, my appreciation for all things just upped a few notches! It is good to be alive.

I think it is the uncertainty that bothers me the most, as I am sure it does everyone at this moment. My business plan is shaking on its foundation. I can open the doors as I may but I am inviting in something I would rather avoid. Now is a great time to stay home! When I was traveling this week I avoided stopping anywhere unless necessary and I peed on the roadside. My thought is that any of us who is mindful of ourselves and others will be doing the same and anyone else is less cautious and therefor more dangerous. What a thought, right? With that in mind do I want to open the gallery doors at all? The answer is no, but I still need an income. I was fortunate to have a contract offered to me that will help me out but I, as with all of us, am worried about these next few months. The word appreciation arises again because I will have a roof over my head regardless of what happens, even if I can’t pay my bills. I know how fortunate I am because there have been years out of my life when I had so little to fall back on that I would have wondered where to go.

I hope that we are all overreacting, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. That the older population seems to be much more vulnerable to the virus is concerning. I have had pneumonia before and even the usual is scary, and this seems much worse. That it seems to spread so easily makes it even more frightening. My instincts say to be still and I am considering that closely. My appreciation for where and how I live has never been as great as is it is now, and I have always been grateful! That I am even more prepared for such an event as this than I thought I was is a huge comfort, and a genuine affirmation also. I am glad to be where I am! When I said my morning prayer today I had so much to be thankful for.

Speaking of prayers. I have said a morning prayer for many years now and it has humbled and educated me to some great degree. When we acknowledge that there is something greater than ourselves that guides our lives it changes our perspective on every life event. I have come to say thanks throughout each and every day as there is so much to be thankful for. I also pray for others, for my life is already full and there is so little I can ask for, or feel the need to do so. Instead I pray to extend those blessings in any way, shape or form that I can. Today I prayed for us all, for our health, protection and good grace that we can come through this challenging time as well and complete as we possibly can. Now is the time to trust that all will be as it is meant to be and that we should all be here with and for each other. It is a good lesson to remember and a much better focus than being fearful or afraid. What will be will be. May all be well today, for all of us! That is the best rationale I can think of.

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