Sheltering in Place Part 3 – Gratitude

End of week 6 of Shelter-in-Place. Here’s what I’m grateful for today.

💜 Gavin Newsom’s approach to CoVid19, his quickness to order state-wide Shelter-in-Place (SIP) and his continued thoughtful decisiveness in mapping California’s way through this pandemic.

💜 My neighbors, strangers, and all who are abiding by SIP, mostly politely. And of course, all the service workers who, while also undergoing SIP, continue doing their jobs despite risk.

💜 My housemates, for their considerateness, good humor, and enthusiasm for various interests: art, nature, lichens, literature, and chocolate cake – a comfortable set of people with whom to be stranded.

💜 Luck, or inheritance, or whatever has given me the lifetime leg-up (knock on wood) to have good health and financial resilience to face these months of SIP.

💜 The Internet (with reservations). Thank you for my connectivity to the Alameda County on-line Library, Duolingo’s language learning app, e-mail, assorted news feeds, and for the ability to attend virtual meetings.

💜 The Cornell Lab’s “Joy of Birdiwatching” on-line course which is helping me to get to know the crows, doves, blue jays, finches, sparrows, and the Downy Woodpecker who are visible in and around my backyard.

💜 The weeds in the yard: Thank you for hours of entertainment and the appearance of productivity while I practice squatting and pulling and breathing fresh air.

💜 And finally: Lichens. They are mutual communities of fungi, algae, and sometimes, yeasts.  Lichens live all over the earth: in the arctic, in deserts, in my yard, on trees, fences, roofs, and rocks. They are ubiquitous but easily overlooked. They are first responders, being some of the first organisms to move into fire-devastated areas where they help make soil and nitrogen available to plants.

They are beautiful and complex, and they remind me of how even the smallest things of the earth are far bigger than I know.

May you too have a richness of things to be grateful for.

Stay well,

~Pam Chang, 28 April 2020

Lichen image by Beth Reuter
Bird image by Douglas Faulder

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