While my title is a play on the famous novel, “Love in the Time of Cholera,” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, its theme of love is simpler. How can love grow in the very best of ways during this very difficult time in our lives?
I live in Granby at 8,500 feet. We are transitioning to spring, slowly. The blue hue of the moon shining on snow is fading. The lakes are starting to thaw. The rivers still run clear, because the snowmelt is only just beginning.
I sat in the sun on my deck at least once this past month. I have seen deer and blue birds in the sage. It continues to snow, but melts more quickly now. In the snowy aspen there are small buds which look like pussy willows. It is mud season again. There is a feeling that spring will soon arrive.
There is an impending sense of renewal. And that renewal has manifested itself in our marriage in small ways during this time of isolation. Creeping in, unannounced, but here to stay. Jon and I are closer than we have ever been, and it is an unintended consequence of staying home.
Before isoIation, I couldn’t remember the last time we ate meals at our dining room table. But, we do now. We face each other, and not the TV across our coffee table. I begin to see things that I have missed as we age.
My husband has grown his first beard since we were married in 1992. It is salt and pepper. And so is his mustache. There are little laugh lines around his eyes. Had I noticed them before?
We play dominos. I lose every time. He laughs. He asks if we should play chess, I demur. Our sense of humor grows!
We alternate playing songs from our favorite playlists. He had never heard one of my favorite songs, “Turn Around, Look at Me,” by the Vogues. How had this slipped past me? Please, Jon, don’t play any songs by Styx!
He loads knives and forks sharp points down in the dishwasher. How come I have never noticed this? Every single day? It may not seem like much, but he’s looking out for us.
When we walk, we hold hands tightly, for dear life. For this is our dear life. It’s as if we are each other’s port in a storm. How many of our friends and families do this as well? I bet most of you. We cling to the intimacy of the relationships with those we love. It’s a good thing.
A friend of mine recently posted that my day sounded like an unstructured life. It’s true for so many of us. Some days I eat cake for breakfast. I am test-driving yoga. I brush the numerous furry members of our home for hours. Some days I can’t seem to focus at all on anything.
But there is a sharp, new focus on and appreciation for the positive things about the person I have chosen to be with for as long as the world lets us. I hope that this renewed attention to the little things will endure after the virus has moved on.
It is a small gift, in a time when so many things and people have been taken from us. And though it doesn’t mean much to others, it will color my world in the future.
And for that, I am grateful.
Colleen Hannon is a never-ever published, “safer-at-home,” urban planning consultant living in Grand County with her four cats, two dogs, and man-of-the-house, Jon Morrissey.