Locked inside our homes, we have some time on our hands to be introspective. Some people are alone or have only a significant other at home. Others are busy from morning till night trying to entertain and occupy children of various ages. Still, even for busy families, there are moments to reflect.
Funny how little the stuff matters now. When will I wear my watches again? They are tucked into a drawer with the other nonsense that I used to cram into my little purse, such as ID, credit cards, the bus pass... all the formerly-critical "don't leave home without it" flotsam and jetsam. I haven't touched my change purse in weeks.
On the other hand, the lipstick and blush, the pearls and the earrings… I am still making a point to wear those, as the Dearly Beloved still must look at me every day. What does it cost me to make his heart happy with a little color and fru-fru? (And lest I be accused of being sexist or too 1960s, he also is going to the trouble to look charming for me. You kids will do things your way…)
How much clothing does a person need? Certainly not all that I have in closets and cupboards. I'll probably spend this time deleting it from my possession. (Or at least preparing it for deletion. Who is accepting other people’s things these days?)
What angry words, moments of ego, careless jokes have I uttered that didn't need to be shared, and certainly will have no place in a better, fresher, cleaner post-Coronacaust world?
What really matters?
More than 30 years ago, I was in the US army. Cold showers were the rule during basic training. Even now, decades later, I will never, ever take for granted a hot shower.
Less than 30 days ago, I was able to travel about freely with and among other people. I was able to hug my children and grandchildren, record music in a tiny studio with my husband and sons, join together with friends on Shabbat, sit in a café and listen to the chatter of families, sit in a movie theater surrounded by my fellow humans and the smell of popcorn, watch people gathering together at the Kotel to cry and pray for those they love and for redemption... Whenever this ends, I will never, ever take for granted the freedom to be around human beings.
I will remember to appreciate the feeling of sun on my face (without a mask), the sounds of neighborhood children, the little kids in the neighborhood who would surprise me with a hug. I will think carefully before acquiring. What do I really need besides food and beverages to eat and drink, warmth and shelter, something to read, a little paint and music, the company of kind people? There is a lot I can give up to others, because time is of the essence – and fleeting.
When this Coronacaust ends, I hope and pray that those of us who are privileged to survive will treat each other better, without harsh language, with the considerateness born of knowing that everyone has lost someone they loved, that no one has missed out on being affected in one way or another. In this we are all equals. I hope we will strive for cooperation for the greater good rather than fighting for the biggest piece of the pie.
May we learn whatever we can from this terrible tragedy, and come out of it our very best selves yet.