What A Wonderful World

Sometimes we need to stop.

Sometimes we need to stop.










I see trees of green
Red roses too
Bob Thiele and George David Weiss

A perfect fall day, just before lunch. Last year I would have left the laboratory and driven to the fitness center where my running gear–shoes and shorts, water bottle and hat–were stashed. I would have popped in my earphones, dialed up a Pandora playlist, and charged through 3 miles, mind consumed with pace and breathing and knees. Back to the fitness center, a quick shower, and an afternoon of prostate slides.

But that was last year, and this of course is not. COVID has zapped the fitness center and seems to have zapped much of my energy as well. My runs this year have been rarer than real birthday parties, and even using my home elliptical has felt like a burden. But today I felt good, the sun was shining and I decided to go for a walk.

And how nice it was to talk a walk in the quiet residential neighborhood just a block south of the lab. Without headphones clogging my ears, without being concerned about how fast or how far I could go, I was able to look around and enjoy the world before me.

Things I might normally not notice; the man and his son, helmets pulled low over their faces, pedaling their bikes in the street, playing hooky from their virtual career and virtual classroom; the woman teaching her virtual classroom from a card table in her garage; the cardboard boxes stacked next to recycling bins pointing to homeowners who have succumbed to Amazon Fever.

A man walks his dog; a maintenance man uses a propane tank for fuel as he fiddles with a structure in the park. The grass is green, the sky a pure blue with gently floating wisps of white clouds. For a moment there is no COVID, there are no politics–the bitterness and hatred have been banished by the light and colors of the fall.

If I was running I wouldn’t slow down to even see the roses, today I want to stop and smell them. No, it won’t change the world, but sometimes we don’t have to.

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