One of our newly planted wild-currant bushes offers its first blooms in front of The Nuthatch cabin.
WE AWAKENED THIS MORNING, a bit groggily, to that annual harbinger of an emerging new season, that whispered wake-up call disturbing of slumber yet comforting in its message that winter won’t last.
Yes, daylight-saving time had arrived.
I stumbled downstairs to start the coffeemaker and turn the clocks ahead.
It’s a disturbing time in the Pacific Northwest. Seattle has become the coronavirus capital of America. It’s a good time to be a hermit on a small island with no public ferry.
But even here, we’re suddenly cautious about greeting neighbors fresh from the city. No hugs, no handshakes. Plenty of hand-washing. It’s awkward, but everyone gets it. One neighbor is here for a month because her employer sent her away from the growing pandemic. The news is more alarming day by day, as schools shut, illness spreads, travel is canceled, regional deaths become double-digit. In this, the Northwest would have happily let somewhere else be the trendsetter (though you really wouldn’t wish it on anyone).
We’re in good stead at The Nuthatch. Barbara just brought home weeks worth of groceries, and we already had plenty of toilet paper. (And what’s the TP hoarding all about, anyway? This is a pulmonary illness; there’s no diarrhea. People just get crazy.)
Rougher times are coming, we’re all told, unless you listen to a certain official who believes everything the federal government does these days is “perfect.” Old folks dying in nursing homes isn’t perfect. People trapped on cruise ships with too little food isn’t perfect. School kids with no place to study isn’t perfect.
We’re sheltering in place on our island, watching the real harbingers of spring sprout and bloom outside, and hoping our friends and loved ones will be as fortunate.
Miniature daffodils herald the coming change of season on Center Island.