Silver Linings, part 2

We all know the deal here on Earth these days. Things are bad (except for the Earth itself, which is breathing much better) and we have no real idea when life as we knew it will resume. People are suffering and dying, and disproportionately so among communities of color. Covid-19 on top of all the other troubles on our little blue and green planet. So we say, “Enough!”

Yes, and still…

Still I continue to be filled with wonder by the light that peeks through the clouds of this pandemic. The fear is real. The stressed health care system is real. The injustice is real. The suffering of so many is real. And also, love is all around.

Yesterday, Betsy (who takes the bus when not working from home) gets a text. It’s from a family who’s on the bus when Betsy boards. Bus acquaintances; parents heading to work, dropping off their 3-year-old Sarah at childcare on their way.

Sarah smiling with a donut

When our schedules line up, I walk with Bets to the bus stop in the morning. I look for Sarah, and we wave and smile to each other as I jump around on the sidewalk, and sometimes run alongside the bus.

Who knows how long until we’ll see Sarah again on the bus — but the picture of her happy face sure made our day. The little things aren’t so little.

Three days ago, we see a neighborhood invitation for a birthday event:

Our son Quinn is turning 12 tomorrow. Clearly, there is no party in the works, but the Make-A-Wish Foundation has arranged to have a police car and a firetruck parade with some of our friends by the house at 10:30am to wish him a happy birthday! If anyone wants to join in, it will be very appreciated! He will be outside soaking up birthday wishes at that time. Please feel free to drive by with a sign or simply yell “Happy Birthday Quinn!” if you see us. Thanks so much….

Quinn's birthdy parade with fire engineWe don’t know this family, but no way were we missing that! Grabbed the guitar and got over there to sing and join the celebration, of course from a safe distance.

People connecting in whatever ways we can, because we need each other. Even total strangers and bus acquaintances, it turns out, need each other.

More of what I’ve heard from people responding to the questions I shared in a post couple weeks back, asking what are they seeing or doing that brings light.

Barbara:  All the animals who are usually alone all day are getting lots of attention!

Connie:  I have witnessed people stepping outside of their regular routines and making an effort to increase the quality of that moment for another human being. No such thing as an act too small where this is concerned.

Eshi: my friend Jessica told me she loves me unconditionally.  I told her I love her unconditionally right back!

Joe:  I made oatmeal raisin cookies — they’re delicious!

Debbie:  I talked to both of my beautiful children today and saw my grandchildren via pics.  And I’m making dinner with my amazing husband!

Katie:  My 88-year-old mother-in-law survived her endoscopy/colonoscopy this morning and was very relieved to wake up after!

Soo:  I got the new AARP newsletter. With Suzy Ormand and everything!

Denise:  I saw 2 blue herons flying together….so majestic.

Diane:  I made gnocchi from scratch – for the first time ever – and it was awesome!

Donna:  I sent a Snap to my eldest of a Sesame Street video that he loved as a babe….and he told me that his daughter saw it and demanded “Mo! Mo!”

Thomas:  My fourth colonoscopy, which took place this afternoon, revealed no polyps (in contrast to several that were removed 4 years ago) and a recommendation that I don’t need to repeat the process for 3 years.

Sally:  I just received this in the mail from one of my students…happy tears!

letter from student

Jim:  I see people noticing what positive things are going on, and how to move from a state of worrying to a state of creating and helping others.

Carolyn:  I delivered the mail in the pouring rain and took it to the door to my elderly customers.

Mary:  I watched rufous hummingbirds while coffeeing.

Amy:  I saw the biggest ol’ bobcat, with a little mane around his big kitty neck, who is spotted at times around our area, and the snow owl –the first I’ve seen– I interrupted when I arrived home last night. Both magnificent living creatures.

Annette:  I saw a beautiful sunset tonight.

Will:  Mentoring Positives is still making Off the Block Salsa and Pizza!  Our vision is to inspire positive changes in youth and families.  Watch for pop-up pizza sales and ask for our salsa at your Madison-area grocer!

Will Green in front of Feed Kitchen

Pat:  I fixed my mama some pancakes.

Sara:  I work at an emergency veterinary clinic.  Yesterday a man came in with a dog he’d found wandering outside and asked if we could scan it for a microchip. I scanned the dog, she was chipped, and I was able to connect the man with the dog’s owners. He then took the dog to reunite her with her family. What could’ve ended sad instead wound up being happy!

Wanda:  My amazing daughter turned 18 today. She wanted to rent a movie and chose The Peanut Butter Falcon, which I’d highly recommend. She was 18 months old when we opened our home and began supporting two people with disabilities. Her advocacy for people comes from deep within herself and has inspired me countless times. I am so proud to be her mom. Happy birthday, Devynn!

Kate:  I spent time with a very dear friend and he reminded me about love and commitment.Top of Form

Dawn:  I got an email from you, had a phone call with a friend, got a cool poster from another friend who is an artist, my kids cleaning up the backyard so we can play basketball, my son dancing with my dog in the kitchen!

India:  Some teachers and staff from Lowell Elementary School coordinated a parade today. They drove slowly through the neighborhood and honked and waved. Families stood on the sidewalks (each separated by plenty of space) and waved. The kids loved it and it was very emotional for the parents and teachers. There was so much love streaming out around everyone.

As for us, we’re doing what we can like everyone else.  Dealing with the hard parts, looking for the openings where the light comes in.  So when you pass by on our block you might see us giving 10s. You get a 10 just for being you. For being with yourself, your people, your pet, on your bike, in your wheelchair, on your skateboard, on your run. We think you’re just perfect the way you are.

We’ll get through this. Everybody gets a 10!

People getting 10s as they go down our street

Link to: Silver Linings, part 1

3 Responses to Silver Linings, part 2

  • Faye Monroe

    Inspiring Peter! Love your ideas and writing style. In these times of challenges you inspire and uplift our spirits. You continue to be a blessing!Looking forward to your next post.


    love reading these as the picture in my mind of you becomes so clear. thanks for being you peter! (and Betsy!)

  • Loree Nelson

    I am so enjoying your blog. Way to go Peter and you guys make the best sangria. Thanks so much. Keep up the blogging.