Every morning I wake up, brush my teeth, look at the bees, snap a nude, put on a mask and head out for a walk. I notice how beautiful the light is, take pics of flowers, greet other walkers, and their dogs, marvel at the daytime moon and generally, feel pretty upbeat.
Lately it has become harder. For a start, it’s colder. The bees are not as abundant right now. My nudes are a bit rounder. And my neighbourhood, which I love so much, is different.
A lot of places have closed and the regular faces have disappeared. Restaurants are boarded up, furniture has been removed and shelves cleared empty. There are many that are trying to make a go of it, and yay for my favourite coffee shop and divine Barista and may the sweet goddesses forever bless her, avocado and pesto sandwiches and local support.
But picking up a sandwich is not that easy anymore.
It’s not just the spraying, sanitising, social distancing and concern about ‘Should I be picking up this sandwich?’ It’s that there are a lot of homeless and hungry people around. A LOT more than ever before.
And it is impossible to ignore.
Yesterday, as I wandered, I came across a German Shepard. He was walking in the middle of a busy street with his head down, disorientated and scared. I looked around for an owner but there was no-one. I called the dog and for a brief second he looked up. His whole face, a bloody mess. I don’t know if it was illness, an accident or maybe he’d escaped from a dog fighting ring but it was awful and I was on foot and couldn’t help.
It felt like an apocalyptic movie scene. A large and once beautiful dog, scared, scarred, matted and bloody, padding aimlessly about. At the same time, so many hungry people, dressed in rags, on crutches, also padding aimlessly about.
Not looking at the dog but looking at me.
And my sandwich.
“Something to eat? A bit of money. Please, mommy. Just a sandwich.”
“Don’t feel sad,’ my Barista told me. “Everything happens for a reason. We’re looking out for each other. We will get through this and come out better.”
I used to think that way too. But I don’t know anymore. It feels bleak. We have the worst poverty crisis staring us in the face. Rescuing the odd dog is not enough. Sharing my avocado sandwich is not enough. Making soup, it’s a good deed, but it’s not enough.
And yet I adore my beautiful, flaky, Barista. And we will get through this by doing more good deeds. Being part of the change. Finding new ways.
And also, keep noticing the moon.
I highly recommend you go outside and take a look right now.
It is a perfect half slice.