An Unexpected Social Distanced Dinner Party

Each day I take a walk in the morning and the late afternoon. These are necessary parts of my routine. They give me a fresh air, a chance to move my body, and to take a break from the screens I find myself glued to for the remainder of my waking hours.

I've been lucky to be able to mix in a visit with good friends on some of these walks. They live on the first floor of their building, and if they're free from work, they can talk to me from their window.

Today's visit was extra special. They passed me a beer through the window. I didn't realize I'd been craving one! Then at 7 pm, we experienced the collective cheer for front line workers together. The neighborhood was filled with cheers, clanging, shouts, and clapping. We joined in.

I don't usually hear the cheers from my apartment, so being outside for it was nice. I find myself craving ways to be connected to other people these days. Participating in the 7 pm cheer allowed me to feel a part of something communal, cathartic, and positive, all at once.

The evening wasn't over yet though. My friends passed me a stool to sit on and then a plate of homemade Polish food (shipped from Wisconsin!) and we ate dinner together.

I walked to their apartment just excited for conversation. I got so much more. Beer, community, dinner...
Social Distancing Virus Covid-19 - Free image on Pixabay
I left reflecting on how this pandemic is forcing so many lessons on me. As I walked home I thought about how we're finding ways to be adaptive in this crisis. And at the same time we are changing certain rituals - eating dinner outside my friends' apartment rather than across the table - we are distilling our habits and needs down to their core. We are creating new rituals - Zoom seders, social disdancing, virtual game night - and preserving what matters most: human connection, love, and joy.

I am not grateful for this pandemic. I hate the pain and havoc it has wreaked on my community. But I am thankful for some of the lessons I'm learning, including lessons in gratitude.

Each day sometimes feels daunting. But I'm also finding a lot of beauty and learning in small moments. I hope we can all take these lessons into whatever future we find on the other side.


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