Every morning like clockwork, I would lace up my shoes, step outside as the sunrose, and take my daily walk. As soon as our state instituted stay-at-home orders last year, I instituted this ritual. With the rhythmic pounding of my feet on the pavement, I found a safe space to process the pandemic. Outside my crowded home, I walked alone and wrestled with my thoughts and feelings, my worries and fears. As I wound my way through suburban streets day after day, I also found a kindred spirit.
A grapevine, growing along a chain link fence.
There it stood, severely pruned back, cut down to its bare bones, raw and vulnerable, barren and beaten, exposed and alone. Dark, twisted branches holding tight to their vine, supported by a cold, industrial trellis.
Every single day, I walked past that grapevine, feeling understood by my new friend in our mutual loneliness & despair. This grapevine was a physical representation, an acknowledgement of the pain we all experienced in the shadow of COVID. With so much of our previous lives trimmed and tossed away, the pandemic pruned us all back in our own ways.
Day after day, I visited that spot, wondering how long until life might return, for my grapevine and for me. And then, one day, like a miracle: tiny, beautiful buds emerged….