Wafting comes the mower’s comforting hum,
Assuring all is just as it should be.
Our gates and fences all are rightly plumb,
We celebrate our capability.
New curbs and gutters sluice away wild rain,
Alarms and locks protect our doors from breach,
Our lives arranged to minimize our pain,
Designed to keep us safely out of reach.
But wreaking roots upheave the sidewalk path,
And worms devour our precious woolen thread,
The black and red mold creep into our bath,
Insomnia disturbs our peace in bed.
Despite our engineering and our math,
Our paradise is something less instead.
Today was almost perfect in our little suburb. The spring sun was shining, the flowering trees were peaking, it was not too hot and not too cool. The night before, the moon was still almost full and it was splendid.
This afternoon few cars were out in the streets. Homeowners were gardening and mowing and washing their windows. Couples were out walking their dogs. When you met a neighbor you nodded and smiled.
Yet all was not well.
When you met that neighbor you veered several feet away so as not to breathe any air they may have exhaled from their lungs. There were no close or extended conversations. Some walkers are wearing face masks.
You see so many people in the neighborhood because their schools and businesses are closed. We are home bound and quarantined.
There is a plague in the land.
So much of what filled our time just four weeks ago is now unavailable. It’s been unlike any Lenten period in my lifetime. We have given up, albeit involuntarily, all gatherings for entertainment, sports, parties, dining, drinking or carousing. I’m unsure if I’m any wiser or if my heart is any softer for it.
I didn’t have anything like our current pandemic in mind when I wrote this a few years ago. But I thought of it today on my walk.