This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help baby boomers, seniors, retirees, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and purpose in life after retirement. Her public lecture on this subject is titled: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking here Amazon.com. Click here for her website: LeeGaleGruen.com
Now, on to my blog:
We’re in the midst of a mandate to shelter in place issued by our California governor. It’s an attempt to cripple the spread of the coronavirus gripping the world and increasing rapidly in my state. I’m trying to do my part, especially since I’m in a highly vulnerable category, age wise. I don’t feel vulnerable; I’m energetic and in good physical condition. However, Gov and my son don’t agree with me.
“Stay inside, Mom,” –my son’s constant refrain.
“But, I’ll just visit some friends, and I promise we’ll stay outside and stand six feet apart.”
“Gawd, you’re killing me, Mom.”
So, in the spirit of not wanting to add to my son’s stress over concern for himself and his wife and children (my adorable grandchildren), I’m sheltering in place. Today, after four days inside of my walls which I’m crawling by now, I decided to go for a solo hike in a patch of wilderness that borders my retirement community.
I meandered an isolated route to my destination, careful to avoid other signs of animal life, human or otherwise. Soon, I happened upon some marvelous bits of nature I’m usually too busy to pay much attention to. A cluster of large mushrooms was growing out of an old root which had broken the surface of the ground. How strange and fascinating they were.
As I traversed a dirt path, I looked down at my feet and discovered a sprinkling of that ubiquitous genus: little purple flower. How perky they looked against the hardscrabble ground.
Something moved. What was it? I stared and was stared at in return. Two deer were hunkered down in the shade under a majestic oak tree, ears perked up, on guard lest I proved to be an enemy and they had to make a quick get-away.
“Hey guys, I’m harmless.”
That didn’t seem to cut it. They remained steadfast, eyeing me carefully as I continued my ascent. I don’t blame them. In these trying times, who knows whom to trust.
More climbing, and I was getting winded. Never mind, it felt great to be outside in a pristine, undeveloped chunk of the world, no one else around, no sounds to distract me.
I crested the hill and came upon another shock of color–orange this time. Spring is here a riot of wild poppies insisted.
I dawdled, not wanting to return to the real world with its surreal dysfunction. Will we ever get through this? I must remember what a famous man once said: “This, too, shall pass.” One final mantra to keep in mind which has served so many to cope with the demons that drive and control them: “One day at a time.”
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