Blueberry pie for breakfast

June 12, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

The evenings have been perfect this last week or so. Remarkable: long lines of sun, ruling down across the grass path to the fields beyond. I’ve finished planting at last, and flowers and vegetables are settling down to be pretty or productive. Along one wall, in a raised garden, I have mixed and broadcast seeds for salads, everything all jumbled up. Means it’s a bit of a mystery what will be in the bowls with the lemon and oil dressing I always make. It doesn’t matter, really. Salad grown at home is entirely different from what one can purchase in a shop, even a famers’ market.

The feeling of luxury is sincere. When it’s so lovely outside, that’s where the finery is looked for – in the ground. The accoutrements hardly matter if the growing is good. When a person doesn’t need a winter coat, the lack of one is irrelevant. The brocade couch can sit empty while the sun warms the deck chairs and the television, taking up most of one wall, can stay black when the goldfinches flit there and back to the feeder and the hummingbirds are like a comedy with their zip-zipping. 

Yes, well, I do like the summer. It brings relief to the labours and brooding of the cold days and dark winter evenings.

So, I wonder whether this is a summer of new dawns. There seem to be more airplanes flying over my head these days and I thought that long cloud in the sky was a vapour trail. I was sorry to see it. Has the industry taken time to re-think about safe and clean ways to conduct air transport in the near future? Or will we just spin the “propellers” on the same old junk ……

There has not been a sudden flourish of new electric or hydrogen powered vehicles coming on the market and for a price any of us can be expected to pay. 

Do you think it can be, after quite some time, really, and we are not exactly all back to full power – unafraid of the next person in the queue – confident of leaving our mask behind – that, after all the gushing and the certainty that things will be different – hope for: better. Or will it all be just the same?

No, we are not there yet. We have to continue to wear our masks, keeping that safe distance but there is a worry living in my mind, in spite of the glory all around, as “stay at home” means “water the garden.” 

What if, in the places where it means something, we haven’t learned a darn thing? We have increased, expanded and honed our ways of communicating, teaching, entertaining each other online. We’ve learned that it’s really fun to go to concerts and the theatre by streaming for free, rather than getting dressed, in the car and paying for those events. Will we recall how much fun truly live theatre and concerts are? In our minds, will the value of live theatre and performance be remembered for what it requires of us? 

In any time of trouble, some people are making good, making lots of money on the backs of the very source of the trouble – like people selling guns to both sides of a conflict. I guess the Facebook shares have leaped in value and Amazon has all but grasped the retail market in its talons.

Here’s hoping the small time retailers have not been squashed, never to rise again. What a loss that would be – not to be able to walk into a store, staffed by people who are in business for the love of it, not just the grinding greed of control. A lovely independent shop, with interesting items you didn’t spend an hour online looking for – a conversation about the product and, maybe, many other subjects, with a real person, meaningful, thoughtful – fulfilling.

It is, as it always is, up to us. If we acquiesce; if we opt out and keep to this enforced laziness that has brought everything to our doors and screens; if we throw our hands up and shrugging our indifference, say, “It’s inevitable1” then, the changes will not be for the better. We won’t be stronger; we’ll just gain weight.

As the weight of a virtual home arrest, across the world, mind you, has been the weapon needed to defeat the plague that has beset us, as this lightens, here at least, we should be out there, shopping for our needs in person. Ordering a meal for take out and going there to fetch it, so the restaurant doesn’t have to pay for delivery. 

Buy a book, greet a sales person – I’m sure local retailers have been very frightened about their chances of survival in the face of Amazon’s determined spread.

There’s been so much time for reflection, as individuals and at large. What have you learned and what do you want different now?

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