The Great Pause

The Great Pause of COVID and the art of noticing things.

The Great Pause

In this Great Pause, I’ve been noticing things I haven’t noticed before. There is a squirrel that traverses along the peaks of my north fence-line, bounding forward on his mysterious mission, flicking his tail, nervously glancing.

There is a minor construction project underway down my alley whose plodding progress on those midweek afternoons is marked by the intermittent buzz of a saw and the zoom-click-click-click of an electric drill completing the final tightening of a screw.

There is the morning sunlight as it divides and redivides my living room in swatches of warm glow: first it frames its own empty portraits on my gray walls, then it colors the leafed canopy of my cloistered houseplants, and then finally onto my hardwood floors as it makes its morning creep.

There is the outstretched bend of a lone, regal plant that lives on my hutch. This floral companion has proven itself resilient to my negligence, leaning towards the dining-room window 10 feet away, seeking the sunlight as its trusted partner in survival and photosynthesis.

And if I sit extra still in my rocking chair on the back porch, there is the fastidious work of a small sparrow who shuffles about in my mulch, collecting the supplies needed to renovate her nest that perches on the limb of my neighbor’s adolescent maple tree.

These are some things. I'm sure there are others too; I just haven’t noticed them yet.