Submitted by Dianne Nault
“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul-
And sings the tune without the words-
And never stops at all-“ Emily Dickenson
I planted flowers in the garden today. That is not at all unusual for a bright September morning. But 2020 has turned out to be anything but “usual.” For months now my husband and I have felt isolated and insulated. Keeping our distance from family and friends has made us look inward, not outward. We have surrounded ourselves with what we needed to maintain a fleeting sense of normalcy all the while surrendering any sense of looking to the future. Ours was a day to day agenda.
We left the house only when necessary to purchase food or essential supplies and even those trips took on the aura of a trip into the Amazon wilderness filled with unknown dangers. We reluctantly dipped our toes in the unknown waters of take-out foods and restaurant patio seating. We no longer visited friends or relatives inside their homes. We stopped offering to drive other people somewhere in our cars. We turned down offers to get together if the “crowd” would number more than a few people, and even then only with people we knew very well. We had conversations on the phone and via Zoom rather than in person and we gave up our long established routines of meeting a friend for breakfast or for Chinese buffet or for taking a meandering stroll around Boston or window-shopping somewhere on the Cape.
Our road trips in the fall with Steve’s sister Fran were put on hold in hopes that they could resume in 2021. Even our typical holiday family gatherings were canceled at least for the near future with the hopes that they could still happen if things changed.
But on this beautiful September morning, I planted flowers in my garden. They are perennials, which mean I have hopes of seeing them come back next year and in the years to come. I hope to enjoy their bright blossoms through the next growing season and gathering the sunny yellow flowers in a vase to brighten my days.
Emily Dickenson is correct Hope never stops. Hope persists even in the gloomiest of times. I planted flowers in the garden today and I look forward their arrival next spring.