in my neighborhood corner park

I’ve been taking a lot of walks—pretty much everyone I know has, if they can. In the middle of a weekday, I see families, friends, and lots of happy dogs on the sidewalks and in the middle of the near-empty streets. We shout hello, we call “Stay well!”, which has taken the place of “How are you?”

Back home I try to work on my new novel. I fret over the upcoming publication date (May 26) of KHALIL AND MR. HAGERTY AND THE BACKYARD TREASURES and all the events and readings we have had to cancel, until I remember, Books are not ephemeral things. They are meant to last, they are meant for the long haul. KHALIL, with Elaheh Taherian’s beautiful, whimsical illustration, will find its readers and when it does, it will make them smile. It will tell them, You were right to stay hopeful.

So many things have changed, maybe forever. Here’s a piece I wrote for another blog about the things that haven’t.

A List of Things That Have Not Changed (so far)

The robin’s crazy-cheerful song

The butter-knife-shoots of the daffodils

How my granddaughters love being read to (the little one touches the screen at her favorite parts)

My husband’s maddening ability to fall asleep within moments of closing his eyes

My 4 AM insomnia

The sweet stir of spring at the open window

The impassive face of the moon

How deeply I dislike Twitter

How I cannot stop looking at Twitter

The phoebe bird’s annual return to nest outside my friend’s kitchen window

My being alone for hours every day and liking it, mostly

My managing to envy others, even now (how can that be?)

The solace of books

The insistence of laughter

The creepiness of masks

How my daughter, a physician’s assistant at a hospital and five months pregnant, goes to work every day

How little she talks about what she sees there

How tired she is when she gets home and how hard she hugs her children (after a very long shower)

My husband’s over-the-top cooking

Our dinners together, always with a candle, even as the days grow longer and the light lingers

The way the ten-month-old clambers, laughs, sprouts new teeth, changing by the day (how this in itself is no change at all, only what he’s done all along)

The fact that nobody I know has the virus, giving these days a sense of unreality coupled with guilt over how I can’t comprehend what has happened, is happening, will happen, and so I stumble outdoors to look at the budding trees and listen to the calling birds and feel beneath my feet the greening earth, steadfastly going about its business of renewing, of becoming (please) new again.

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