Sunday, November 8, 2020


It was an extraordinary day,

It might have been summer yesterday, the weather was so warm. If it weren’t for dry leaves crunching underfoot, the clear blue sky and bright sun might have convinced me I was back in June or July. I had dressed for Fall, but then went back and changed my clothes. When I walked to my car it was warm enough for a short-sleeved shirt and no jacket.

It was a gloriously beautiful November day.

Driving down Little Patuxent Parkway - - the part that runs towards the hospital - - I found myself stopped at a traffic light near the shopping center with the new 7-Eleven. I watched as four boys rode in to the parking lot from a cross street. It made me smile. I remember riding my bike to the corner store back in the day. Seeing those young men (middle school, maybe?) out on an adventure on such a lovely day felt like a positive sign of life for a road that’s largely dominated by car traffic.

They parked their bikes, took off their helmets, surveyed their surroundings. There were a few tables outside. I thought perhaps they were looking for seats. I noticed that none of them were wearing masks. The sign by the door at 7 Eleven clearly stated that masks were required. 

I began to get anxious. 

Were these the kind of kids who think that rules don’t apply to them? Would they put the employees and other customers at risk because of selfishness or just lack of forethought? That’s the way our world is right now. Those are the questions we ask ourselves because we live with an uncontrolled and deadly virus in our midst.

The light changed. As I was turning my attention back to the road I saw one boy reach into his pocket, pull out a mask, and start to put it on. I felt myself exhale, relax a bit.

Yesterday was a day when I savored little things like blue skies and sun and boys riding their bikes. I found hope in the small action of a young person putting on a mask to protect others. It was also a day for celebrating big choices that will mean big changes for our nation and the world. A day to release the tension and anguish of four years of anger and intentional cruelty.

A day to dance in the streets.

Our world can be more joyful, more kind, more just. Our beliefs and actions can make it so. What we chose for our nation we can chose for our neighborhoods and for our towns. 

For me all those feelings came together at a stop light on Little Patuxent Parkway. I want to remember that feeling as long as I live.

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