Corona Chronicles XXXVII
Photo by Doug Chamberlin
I recently reread each of the thirty-six Corona Chronicles published since May of 2020. As we mark the beginning of the second series of the Corona Chronicles I remain in awe at the talent and creativity of our community. From poets, painters, photographers to essayists, writers, reviewers, and raconteurs this collection continues to educate, entertain, and lift our spirits as we collectively live through the days, months, and years of the Covid plague.
While I had hoped that we would be resuming a somewhat normal life this fall, the spread of the delta variant has made it impossible and each day I read of additional cancellations of events in the local papers. Zooming once again looms large on the horizon in order to maintain relationships with friends and family. Zoom religious services, classes, social events, and even medical appointments seem to be multiplying daily. While “Zoom fatigue” may be the order of the day I would not like living without the ability to at least see and hear from friends and family. Patience, not always my strongest suit, must be practiced to deal with this ongoing period of estrangement from so many.
So as we begin another year, please join me in celebrating all who have helped make what we conceived of as a temporary experiment in maintaining community such a success. Janet Williams and I look forward to continuing to celebrate the talents of all of you and we both urge you to send us your offerings for it is through our shared expressions that we preserve the bond that unites us and that has made Belfast Senior College such an essential part of our lives.
The wedding will be simple,
We will walk past the waterfall,
Up the hill to the white village church,
Turkey and ham ready to be cooked in our farmhouse kitchen,
Friends will bring salads and breads to be shared.
The upper room in the barn scrubbed for the reception,
Freshly painted, curtains and watercolors hung.
My gown of cream ruffles and ribbons waits.
My groom’s gray pinstripe suit pressed
Flowers yet to be gathered from our garden,
We hope for lilacs and lily-of-the-valley
To make bouquets with paper doilies and bows.
But May in Maine, lilacs late.
What will we do?
On our wedding, morning we open the kitchen door.
To find the back hall filled,
A profusion of purple perfume greets us,
Hundreds of tiny blossoms,
In heavy heads of color, countless hues:
Lavender, mauve, plum, violet, rose and shell pink
Stuffed in bottles, vases, canning jars and pails,
Photographs by John McClenahen
I had been a widow for three years when I moved into a small townhouse a block away from the river in the old and historic district. It had a lovely brick-walled garden with french doors leading into the open living space. This new location in the middle of the bustling city was close to restaurants, shops, and historic sites. I hoped it would help me recover from the recent deaths of my husband, mother, and my beloved black lab.
Aside from family, old friends, and my long-time book club, I had invited very few people to my new house. One early April afternoon I ran into a former acquaintance in the grocery store and we chatted for a bit. His wife, who had died a few years before, had been my friend since high school. My late husband and I had come to know them as a couple and had shared theater outings, day trips, and the occasional meal. I had seen little of him in the past few years and as we caught up with one another, beside our sparsely filled shopping carts, I suddenly said “Why don’t you come to dinner Friday night?” I was surprised to hear him reply, “Sounds good, what time?”
We separated and I drove home from the store thinking about what to fix for dinner. Friday evening arrived. I had dinner ready but I was as nervous as a teenager on a first date. The doorbell rang and there he stood with a bottle of wine. We began to talk, sat down to eat, and for the next four hours our conversation never stopped. The candlelit room, the good wine, and shared feelings of loss had worked magic on both of us.
He stood and said it was time he left. I walked him to the door that led out to the garden. There was a light, spring rain falling, the smell of earth and jasmine was heavy in the air and the night mist rising from the river in the distance. He turned and kissed me, thanked me and quietly left me standing in the doorway. Trembling, I knew there was something to look forward to again.
The Changing Seasons
Thoughts for the Day
It is a powerful practice to be generous when you are the one feeling in need.
Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life.
At night our fear is strong. . . but in the morning, in the light, we find our courage again.
This is the time to fly, to create, to investigate, to listen, to invent together.
Courtesy of Gratefulness.org