Excerpted from my journal yesterday, during the nor’easter
Today a nor’easter is pounding Boston. It’s currently wild winds and sideways rains, but every time I look the thermometer has lost a little more ground to winter. By tonight, the rain will become snow and tomorrow we’ll all awaken to the “beep beep beep” of the plows backing up. I’m sitting in my car, heaters on full bore, in a spot in Nahant where the untamed eastern waters pound mercilessly against fragile-looking causeways. With the cancellation of Thanksgiving plans, the arrival of bad weather, the dramatic worsening of the pandemic and the tumult of managing home and work, I feel like I have not gone anywhere or done anything in months – that I only look out of the same windows of the same rooms every day. Now, I like the windows and rooms, but a phrase that comes to mind is “A change is as good as a rest”. But in the same vein, I feel exhausted by the unrelenting sameness of this pandemic life. So I took to the road, in the midst of the storm, to see what different views there might be.
There is so much pressure in my life, I struggle to hold the center. I try to do the things – fresh air, exercise, sunlight, good food, good sleep, new hobbies. I do ok at them. But I am really struggling to enjoy things. I feel dry and dessicated. I take little pleasure, even in things I should love. I feel fragile and overwhelmed. I claw back at moments of peace and contentment, fragile as they are, where I can find them. But I am very bad at both failing and quitting, so I fall back on my skills of striving and persisting, and pray they are enough to see me through.
The waves are indominable in their crashing. They don’t last forever, but while they last they take no pauses. They do not step back, take a deep breath, regroup and then start again, as we beasts do. They come without weariness or rest. Woe to the beast who much ply such waters, and match the frenetic pace of nature with frail body and failing breath. Here’s to the birds and beasts and humanfolk who hold tight through stormy waves for the coming stillness, warmth and sunlit days that do surely follow.
The car is rocking in the buffeting winds and I, who usually sit all day, have been sitting all day. The veil of darkness will drop in the coming hour, to be followed quickly by the veil of lacy snow. I must return to my accustomed windows and rooms and resume the weekend mantle of mother and wife. I hope my endurance is greater than the storm’s.