Shiny bits of sea glass

Dear President Trump,

I’ll start with a handful of positives from my morning walk since I seem to need to collect them like so many shiny bits of sea glass. First, there was the large, colorful “Happy Birthday!!!! Love You! We Love You!” chalk message outside the elderly woman’s home down the street. This is the lady whose house is adjacent to her antique business who has resisted selling her prime property to developers – she’s something of a local hero and it was great to see her get such nice birthday wishes. Next there was another chalked birthday message – this one to Adrianna for her 20th (!!!) and then there was the chalked bible verse: “Be not afraid, for I, the Lord, am with you” at the tippy top of a very long hopscotch run. There were also lots of windows with lots of Teddy bears and friends. And to top it off, there was the almost, almost full moon (92.5% visible, waxing gibbous) that hung in the clear, dark blue sky like an orange. I timed getting home (inadvertently) to coincide with the moon’s setting behind the Olympics so I stood on our front porch for a few minutes and watched it slowly disappear.

The other lovely bit of sea glass that will help sustain me for the rest of the day came in the form of an email message. It was from a friend at church who is in lockdown at her downtown retirement home because one of their residents tested positive for covid-19. She sent me a picture of the heart shaped lights the downtown Hyatt has on all the time now – her apartment faces it and she wanted to share the view from her window so I could add it to my list.

Another lovely, and critically important, positive for all of us is the fact that Drs. Deborah Birx and Tony Fauci have worked together closely for nearly forty years. It’s hard to imagine how grim things would be if only one or the other of them were on your coronavirus task force because I’m positive that they shore each other up so that they can keep showing up for the world despite you. It must be incredibly difficult to do those pre-press conference briefings with you and then to share the stage with you while you blather dangerous crap non-stop. If any scientist had to do that alone, without another trusted scientist to lean on, they couldn’t keep that up day in and day out (at least not without giving in to the impulse to shove you away from the mic). We owe the two of them and their longstanding relationship an immense debt of gratitude because they are persisting and resisting under some of the most fraught conditions imaginable.

The last thing to tell you is that Laura and I are both participating in the Seattle SCAN project, which is using the existing public health infrastructure for surveilling the community flu burden each year to now test for covid-19. You have to apply online and Laura tried a bunch of times over the last week before finally getting in Saturday night (and then I hopped in too). Our test kits were delivered yesterday late morning to our front porch and then after bumbling (very carefully) through the directions to collect and secure the nasal material and complete the online process, we put the packages back on the porch, from whence they were quietly whisked away. They have their processes down, for sure! If one or both of us test positive, they will call us and let us know and we can check the website in 2-3 days for the results. I’ll let you know what we find out.

In the meantime, here is today’s blessing….

May we be safe to enjoy what there is to be enjoyed.
May we make space for some hits of contentment.
May we bring our full, strong, resilient selves to this situation.
May we remember that every one of us is a unique and precious work of art.

Tracy Simpson

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