YESTERDAY WE AWOKE to a strange and beautiful scene. It was 5:55 a.m., and through our east window we saw that slight but gorgeous glow the sun casts to let you know it’s moving toward the horizon. (For us, this is the crest of a tall, wide mountain range far in the distance.) To our South, where the peaks are closer and more defined, there was no glow at all but simply darkness, a bright moon and star hanging sure in the sky. Down below, as best as we could see, there was a dense fog that looked like a fat layer of foam floating on a giant ocean, a sea that had risen overnight.
We grabbed our coats and ran for the deck, needing a better view. To our surprise the blanket of fog was everywhere, in every direction, filling every lower space as far as the eye could see. We watched for more than an hour, mesmerized, as it rolled and burbled through the valleys and hollers and flatlands, as it held thick and rich, unyielding. Light rose, and the scenes around us changed, and the fog held. The western sky slowly came to life, painted in gentle shades of blue and pink; the eastern sky blazed with gold and yellow and white.
Here and there, as lower mountain peaks buried in the fog formed islands, they’d be hidden, then peek up and out just for a moment, then disappear again.
There was so much to see, something surprising in every direction and we stood in awe and watched, it being the first time in four years of getaway mornings we’d had this experience. But don’t get that wrong-—we’ve been moved and humbled a thousand times by these mountain sunrises, for it’s one of the great gifts of life in this remote, high elevation cabin.
We’d just never experienced anything quite as surreal as this.
AS IT HAS BEEN with so many of the 25 days that have passed since we started this COVID Stay-at-Home adventure. We are on the mountain by design of course, isolated, removed from the world in a very intentional way. Which means since we’ve been here neither of us—neither Tim nor I—has had any real risk of exposure. Still the virus has hung here like the plague it is, having great presence and insisting it become our grand obsession, our primary topic of conversation. It loops and winds through every thought and consideration, and like the fog, it has sought and found and settled into every nook and cranny.
We count the days. We dissect the data. We suppose and suppose and suppose. We wait and watch and worry and pray and video chat, toasting every gladness. We settle in for the evening news and then, most nights, rise from it so heavy-hearted it feels impossible to breathe.
We marvel at the innovation, at the power of connection, at the new ways we are all defining community. At the ways human beings are finding to cope and entertain and bring hope and make good.
There is so much good.
We cheer each other on, Tim and I, and we watch a lot of Cheers.
And we offer boundless thanks to the people working so hard to make the world work amid this chaos, to the first responders, to those in every aspect of healthcare, in all corners, in all capacities, for whom boundless thanks is not nearly enough.
This too shall pass.
(It’s something I remind myself a hundred times a day. )
We all do.
And all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well—even as it seems the sea is still rising.