*A creative version of how my husband and I passed the time during the recent lock-down in the USA. We live in a rural area with very few cases of Covid19. Your experience may have been quite different.
Once upon a time, there was a land far away where an evil virus scourged the populous. In this land was a lady, not quite old but not quite young. She lived with a handsome warrior who thought himself old but had the strength of a champion. Each day they asked each other. “How did I get so lucky to be with you?” Then they would smile and answer in turn, “It’s a gift.”
They lived happily and well before the scourge cast its shadow, but then they became fearful and cut-off from family and friends. The minstrels and messengers of the land call out in constant litany, “Flatten the Curve! Flatten the Curve! To arms! To arms!” This was done night and day lest we forget why we were scared and lonely. The days droned onward.
Each day the couple stayed home as required, puttering about the house and yard. Clothes and linens were scrubbed, lintels were dusted, storage rooms were inventoried, and the midden raked and buried. When they would venture out, they put on their armor of mask & gloves. Their trips were limited to the market for food or to the apothecary for medicinals. The market was getting bare with only meager supplies of their usual food choices. Many times substitutions would be made, and the lady worried that her kitchen skills would be found wanting. On a particularly exasperating day, the warrior asked his lady, “How do you make this soup taste so good?” With a look of joyful relief, she answered, “It’s a gift!”
After a time, their imagination took hold with dreams for a brighter future. In the distance, you could still hear the minstrels and messengers with their incessant call, “Flatten the Curve! Flatten the Curve! To arms! To arms!” The couple listened to the warnings, but it was slowly becoming white noise in their home. Though there was still fear, they had other, more joyful things to think about.
They ventured out in their armor to the hardware and farming shop. They bought seeds and plants, dirt and compost, pots, and plant stakes. Together they brought their precious items home and set to work. Soon a garden came forth from their efforts. Large containers of tomatoes and peppers, cucumbers and zucchini, potatoes and marigolds were carefully watered, weeded, and watched. The lady said to the warrior, “I am so glad you are strong and able. I could never do this on my own!” To which the warrior replied. “It’s a gift!”
In their cleanings and rearrangings, a long-forgotten boat of dubious vintage was discovered. Its paint and propulsion could be improved, but the hull was sound and well-made. Paint was ordered from deep in the Amazon, and the propulsion was sent to the smithy. The warrior and his lady worked on the little boat remembering days long past when they plied the lakes nearby. Day-in and day-out, they scrubbed, cleaned, scraped, and sanded. The minstrels and messengers call of “Flatten the Curve! Flatten the Curve! To arms! To arms!” were nearly drowned out with the sounds of work and laughter.
The granddaughter of the lady and warrior had finished her schooling. She was now a woman that would make her way in the world once the evil virus was vanquished. To celebrate this auspicious occasion and still maintain their isolation, they rode by her home on their trusty steeds Kia and Nissan, waving and shouting their congratulations. Colorful banners were flown, and trumpets blared. It was a merry time indeed. The warrior commented to his lady, “How did you come up with these banners?” Laughing, she replied, “It’s a gift!”
During the time of the scourge, the warrior spent the first days off-duty, but then he was called in to help maintain supplies for the carriages, wagons, and carts of the land. He worked a day or two for a time, then he began working a full week. He felt better knowing he was working for the cause and taking care of his family. The lady missed his presence but soon became involved with her own projects. She sewed masks for a local healer establishment and sent cards to folks who lost loved ones before the virus took hold. They both did their work and were grateful for it. The calls of the minstrels and messengers grew ever fainter in their experience.
While the land dealt with the evil virus on the front lines, the lady and her warrior felt closer than ever. They enjoyed picnics and carriage rides, reading and discussions, cooking and music. After the busyness of the day, they settled and snuggled at night. Their love was savored and reveled in. All of their focus was on each other. The calls of the minstrels and messengers could not compete with the beating hearts of the lady and her warrior. The lady dreamily asked her warrior, “How is it that you make me feel so safe and loved?” The warrior kissed her upturned face and replied, “It’s a gift.”
Artwork~ The Chamber Idyll ~Edward Calvert, 1831
The Metropolitan Museum of Art-Open Access/Public Domain
~Dr. Catherine Denton is a Metaphysician who lives in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. She is the author of her memoir- Metaphysical Girl: How I Recovered My Mental Health. Her mission is to encourage folks during challenging times and help them realize they are stronger than they know. Catherine & Jonathan (her handsome warrior) will celebrate 30 yrs of marriage December 2020.