Through the woods, I go. I lean against my two favorite trees. I look out over the water. I count the baby geese. I stare at the sky. My feet move and my mind wanders.
During these last three months, my wandering helped me, soothed me and befriended me. I even have my best friend wandering with me. And we are not alone in these woods. There are so many joggers and bikers and hikers and dog walkers that sometimes it feels like rush hour.
But the best sounds we hear are the giggles and shouts and running feet. Children not allowed in school or the park playground have found a new place to play. I remember my summers in the woods near my childhood home and smile with delight. One playground is closed but they have discovered another much bigger and more creative one. And it’s a joyous sound.
As a self-employed artist, I still work in my studio and at my wheel five days a week. I wedge and roll and paint and glaze. This was a ‘glazing’ week. It’s not my favorite part of the process but it’s necessary.
After sanding, wiping and waxing, each piece needs to sit overnight before glazing begins. The next morning, I need to rearrange my entire studio. I clear table tops, put tools away and take out others, lay newspapers on shelves, towels on the floor and open the windows.
I stir and dip and wipe and repeat. Then I wait. After a day or two, I load the kiln and start the firing process. Then I wait some more. Hopefully, when I open the kiln everything inside will be bright and shiny and ready to use.
All this wandering and waiting has me wondering. When will this all end? When it does what will life look like? Will people stop looking at each with such fear? Will I hear people laugh out loud, reach out to lend a hand and a hug? Will my grandchildren think that it’s normal to wear a surgical mask everywhere?
But most important, once we are all back to our lives and going through the motions of living in a world of endless routines, will we remember how to wander? Will we forget how long we had to wait? And will those children forget the joy and the magic of their own playground in the woods?