I know that we’re working towards a healthier, safer world with all the efforts we are taking to maintain social distancing. But the distance gets to me. It can feel really -- well -- isolated, sometimes even when my four noisy kiddos are surrounding me.
But I sense a slow healing just under the surface of my routines that has nothing to do with viruses. Now when I pass a neighbor on the street, the polite wave or nod has changed to a genuine smile of happiness and companionship, even as we cross the street to avoid getting close.
Rainbows have popped up in windows in so many houses, silent but beautiful expressions of solidarity. My children seek them out every time we walk - and never miss a new one.
When I sew a mask, my hands busy and my heart full, it’s another form of connection. To the person who I imagine will wear the mask, who’s maybe packing lunches for school children, or caring for someone who’s at risk, or working in a hospital, or living in a shelter.
And it’s opened up a new connection with my family. My teenage daughter sits next to me while I sew, mining old fitted sheets for their elastic - a newly precious commodity. My three boys gravitate toward the table as well -- maybe to draw or work on another project. And I realize that I never used to sit still. Now when I sit down to the sewing machine, I feel like there’s a bubble around me and my children, and I can infuse the masks I make with that feeling of community and connection and love.
We’re all a family under one sky. And social distancing may bring us even closer.
--Anonymous Masketeer, Chatham, NY