The Gratefully Caged

Hot cup of coffee and the entire day laid out in front of me. Was watching some stand up comedy last night and the comedian was joking about how the early morning version of ourselves is always the best – when we’re fresh, energetic, focused and motivated. He followed it up with how our late night selves were shit, LOL. He might be correct, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there is much to do or plan for a day even if the energy is there.

Some days it feels a little like early retirement. I was not ready for this chapter; I had made completely different plans when the decision was made to move to California from Seattle. Of course plans fall through and people change their minds so a detour landed me in this charming little corner of the world. It’s different. I went from thirteen years in the loud, constantly noisy city to a little home isolated in the woods miles outside a tiny mountain town. And now this place. We are still surrounded by mountains, woods and wildlife, but also homes, trucks and small neighborhood activity. A interesting little community tucked away from the rest of the world. I still don’t know hardly any of the neighbors. The weather went from wet and cold to boiling hot quickly, and the concerns about covid-19 have most people hanging out at home and indoors. My clan has pretty much done the same to be safe.

The news always makes the world seem more grim than it is, but even with the media’s fearful spin on things the state of the country is pitiful. I don’t have to read the individual horror stories, I can just check the new unemployment stats and picture how awful it has gotten. Of course it does not keep others from updating me on what the outcome has been for such depressing statistics. You know as you read those numbers that everything from domestic violence and child abuse to homelessness, hunger and mental illness is climbing sky-high. You know that there are millions sitting in their homes fretting constantly about how they are going to keep the bills paid and a roof over their heads while simultaneously having to worry about a new viral threat that could potentially drop them dead within the week if they catch it. Food bank lines are so long it makes headlines. The number of reported crime is up everywhere, especially violent crime. It is fucking nuts.

Yet we are here almost frozen in time in this peaceful little place. Schooling is switching to mostly at-home and people are getting better about wearing their masks, but otherwise life has not changed much around here.

I keep thinking back to that series of dreams I had before leaving the city, when we were still weighing our options and trying to decide where to go. I could see it bubbling up all around me before we left, the problems that were about to spill over in Seattle. Knew it was time to get out before it completely went to shit. Yet even those paranoid dreams about the future didn’t include all of the madness I read about in the news now. I know I need to count the blessings, and this home has been one during such tough times. Especially considering the circumstances we had been thrown in right before finding it.

It is a little strange still, having to be grateful for something that so often feels very restrictive. But in these times I’m probably far from the only person who feels that way. Having to be horribly grateful for the homes we are still stuck inside as we watch time pass by the windows and on the internet. Grateful for our cages.