Finding Joy During a Pandemic
“When was the last time you went to the beach?” Of course, there have been times during this pandemic when going to the beach was ill advised. Still, many of our locals have found ways to stay socially distant and enjoy time watching the waves go by. The beach is a short walk from my office, but I have not gone to visit nearly as much as I would like.
“When was the last time you went to the beach?” In the back of my mind, I hear myself thinking, “I have more important things to worry about!” Yet this simple question is a reminder to me of how important it is to find those moments of joy in life. Perhaps not so much in spite of the coronavirus, but rather, because of it. This time we live in reminds us exactly how precious life is, and we would be remiss not to take advantage of it.
LGBTQ people have been down this road before during the early days of HIV/AIDS. We learned that the global epidemic was a marathon, not a sprint. We were called on to fight for each other, yes, but also to celebrate those lives we were fighting for. It is no surprise that some of the biggest HIV/AIDS fundraisers in the early days of the epidemic were also the biggest parties. Sundance was born as a response to the HIV/AIDS crisis, and what an amazing celebration that turned out to be! Sundance, of course, will be different this year, but there will be plenty of opportunities to celebrate (read more about that elsewhere in this issue!).
I confess that summer snuck up on me; for a while there at home, all the days seemed to blur together. Nevertheless, it is here, and it is glorious. I’ve found little and big ways to find joy, not the least of which is my favorite take-out, the $10 Baja Fish Taco special, Friday nights at the Purple Parrot. I loved being part of the Tea, the new Saturday night talk show at the Pines with Mona Lotts and Kristina Kelly. I enjoyed socially distant mini-golf at Shell We Golf with my husband (I won!). Of course, I’ve loved seeing visitors stop by CAMP Rehoboth (we have been operating on an appointment-only basis) and connecting with our amazing local community. And yes, being able to walk to the ocean is an amazing perk of this job.
People ask me often if Baltimore Avenue is ‘back to normal.’ This being my first summer as a resident, it’s hard for me to know exactly what normal looks like. I can say, however, that it is a great place to be. Yes, there are fewer tables in our courtyard (to help keep people physically distanced), and Lori’s Café is doing takeout-only, but the chicken salad is still amazing and the people in this neighborhood are as friendly as ever. Many restaurants are open for those who are comfortable with dining in, and as Fay Jacobs writes in Dining Out, there are other creative options, too.
I don’t know exactly what normal used to look like on Baltimore Avenue, but what we have right now is pretty amazing and I hope to take a little more time to stop and appreciate it.
“When was the last time you went to the beach?” Whether you find your joy at the beach, or on the dance floor, or sitting outside with your friends enjoying these beautiful warm nights, I hope you find your own way to celebrate the summer. As coronavirus has reminded us, life is too short, and too precious, to simply let our time in the sun slip by.