Gratitude

“We’re so lucky,” I say to the husband.

He glances up from a spreadsheet he printed out this morning to calculate our finances for the next seven months. There’s that little twist to his mouth he has when contemplating where his wife’s craziness may be leading. He decides on the safe route and agrees with me. After all, right at this moment, we are lucky.

Still employed. Everyone we know in the world still healthy despite a couple of brushes and false alarms. Our normal hermit shells have cracked wide open with a newfound desire to hear from old friends and, on a weekly bases, our families. There’s so much joy in observing a kind of old-fashion childhood unfolding when parents send their kids outside and the neighborhood and park fills with lazy looping bike riders, skateboarding teenagers swishing by, peewee games of long-distant catch and relay races. The pavements are art galleries for roaming exhibitions of chalk drawings. Birds resonate at twilight. Fields of wildflower transform vacant lots.

And at 7 p.m. every night we stand at our door together with neighbors we never saw before and clap, bang pots, blow whistles for all our warriors and heroes keeping us alive. Then we wave and call goodnight to our no longer stranger neighbors.

Dystopia may loom but I have decided to grasp tightly to these small pleasures, all bulkheads keeping at bay what may lay head. The only way to witness and make sense of the tragedies surrounding us seems to me to acknowledge the small graces given to us for now.

The husband goes back to his calculations and finds there’s enough for the time being to help others.

Reason to go onward with the day.