No Entry

Over the last year in particular I’ve tried to take advantage of some of the local nature trails. One particular favorite starts behind my complex, then cuts through a different complex and leads around a small pond. It doesn’t seem like it should be very exciting, especially since it’s very close to a busy road, but I almost always see something cool on that path. Albino squirrels! Very close and curious raccoons! Over a dozen turtles in a single day!

The last time I went there was last October, prior to the next batch of major shutdowns but still under Michigan’s comparatively tight restrictions. It had been several months since my previous visit, and I was eager to see what exciting things I would find. Unfortunately, the only thing I remember seeing on that trip was a new sign declaring the path “For residents only.” I was a trespasser. For as rarely as I visited, I was not wanted. I did one last circle around the pond and haven’t been back since. One more place was closed off.

I got my second dose of the vaccine the other day. Things will still be restricted even once my two weeks are up. I’ll still where a mask where required or even simply asked. (I want a mask that says “Fully Vaxxed. Still Masked When Asked.”) But the metaphorical No Entry signs are slowly being turned down. But even then, there was light. Love Thy Nerd’s virtual convention had been the weekend before and was marvelous. Hutchmoot online was just starting, and I had been added to a massive Marco Polo conversation with a bunch of my friends that still continues. The light shines in the darkness, and it cannot be overcome.

No Entry

Originally written October 8, 2020

My life has posted a “No Entry” sign
On many areas that once were free
To roam. These places, secret and sublime,
Have suddenly become all closed to me.
My favorite people, favorite gatherings,
All closed because of COVID. I’m alone,
Unable to seek comfort from these things,
Unable to do more than grab my phone,
And share laments on Facebook, where I’m joined
By others who are suffering loss too,
Lamenting joys that all have been purloined,
Yet in that loos, still building something new—
Another path, built in the ancient ways,
A growing light within these darkening days.

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