During the pandemic I found it difficult, if not impossible, to write except for in my Book of Joy journal, a gift from a friend. The worst year of my life documented in such an ironic title. I filled the time in isolation with much reading and binge watching PBS series and Netflix. My husband and I did take long walks, often ending up at the nearby Riverside Park. We enjoyed experiencing the change of seasons in the park. Quite often, we were the only people there, especially in the first phase of the pandemic, when all the playgrounds were closed.
Riverside Park has several beautiful bridges, border walls, and buildings that were constructed as a WPA project during the Great Depression, another dark time in our nation’s history. The bridge pictured here leads to a small island where couples can rent a gazebo for weddings and arts and crafts artists sell their creations at festivals in the summer. As we walked over the many bridges, I was reminded of the men who built them. Perhaps they ‘d lost jobs, homes, families and faced uncertainty. Yet they put hope for the future in stone and concrete that we still enjoy decades later. We need a similar kind of hope today as the pandemic continues to rage.
January, 2021, marked a new beginning. A vaccine became available bringing hope that we can overcome the scourge and hug our family and friends once more. I’ve begun a new book, once again finding humor in my outlook and energy to write. I started a new journal, plain blue cover, no title, that already contains some joyful entries. Life is looking good again.
Originally published in February 2021