When COVID-19 let us know it’s here to stay with us awhile, I, like all sensible people, sheltered at home. My biggest concern at that time was masks. It was impossible to buy them back then and I had to sew them. I found a YouTube video of an easy pattern designed for personal fit. I found old pillowcases and T-shirts and hand sewed eight of them, four each for me and Richard.
After that was done, I began to feel the tedium of staying home. My business projects were on hiatus, and driving to curbside grocery pickup once a week was losing its adventure.
I was concerned about losing my edge. I did not want to wake up one morning and discover that I have become a slouch, wearing pajamas all day, not caring how I looked, foregoing exercise and eating whatever, whenever. I was beginning to feel that this letting go is perfectly acceptable. After all, why wear makeup if I’m just going to pop the trunk for someone to load my pre-ordered groceries?
I confessed this to my friend Stephanie and came up with an idea. What if I committed to post something every day on Facebook? Something thematic, intentional. Something about me, what I do, what I observe, what I know. This would nudge me to think about how I look, to keep my eyes open for things to write about, to actually DO things so that I have something to post.
#KEEPTHEBARHIGH was launched on April 26. I did not have an end date, but Stephanie recalls that it was 30 days. If so, then I exceeded my earlier commitment because July 31 made 100 days in a row.
I rarely planned the Facebook posts. Sometimes I was lucky and someone visited me, or I heard something or saw a squirrel attacking our bird feeder. Most times I just paid attention to what I was thinking about, what I saw, what I was experiencing. It was all serendipity, really.
I talked about meals I prepared, like variations of long-awaited spam musubi, chicken eggplant in ground bean sauce, well-packed tacos, and the puffed pancake that took two tries to puff. Our vegetable and flower gardens were a frequent subjects. They kindly gave us zucchini, broccoli, bell peppers, basil, mint, plumeria and wildflowers.
The physical exploits I posted included solitary walks around my neighborhood, exploratory walks with Richard, my first bicycle ride in decades, yoga and ping pong. Moments with our dogs Titus, Koa and Sahara were posted, each with a focus of their individual personalities.
Play was a fun topic. I chronicled our Lego Ferris wheel and played a video of the finished wheel turning with carnival music. I learned about rock painting and the Kindness Rock Project and posted my feeble start. I whistled Happy Birthday to Richard. I used my painted rocks as my own eyes. I posted a funny video about Princess Bride. Silly things, really.
There was sadness, like when we hit 100,000 COVID-19 deaths and when John Lewis died. There were times when the only thing I could think of was the calmness of my meditation bowls, or a poem, or a prayer.
Perhaps the most heartfelt were about relationships. I talked about the extreme generosity of my son and his family who send me magnificent flower bouquets every month. I reported gifts and visits with friends. I learned to cherish each friendship and encounter. Memories were woven into many of these posts. My dad was often mentioned in garden matters and values I learned growing up in Hawaii came through several posts. I am, after all, a child OF, and not just from, Hawaii.
#KEEPTHEBARHIGH graduated the other day, after 100 days of perfect attendance. I wish it well. I do not have a favorite post, but this one is somehow illustrative.
Day 95 #KEEPTHEBARHIGH
The Serendipity of Sea Glass
It’s been a year and a half since I walked on a beach. And yet, when I am quietly sitting, or falling asleep, if I concentrate, I can hear the hiss of seawater seeping into coarse sand and visualize minuscule bubbles in ephemeral foam.
The cadence of the ocean, its waves and currents, is powerful and soothing at the same time. The ocean shapes the earth’s continents while allowing us mere humans to gather its bounty, sail its surface and delightfully play along its edges.
Consider these pieces of sea glass. Somewhere on our planet, these broken pieces were lulled into drifting aimlessly. They surrendered their lives as beer bottles, wine glasses, coke bottles, even automobile headlamps to the seductive urging of waves inviting them to taste the brine.
For years, they drifted, visited shores around the world, and eventually settled on beaches near me and Richard. They caught our eye on coasts from Mendocino and Point Reyes to Kailua and Lanai, on beaches called Shipwreck, Jade, San Souci, Sandy, Waimea.
And somehow they ended up in Trophy Club, Texas. That’s serendipitous.