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 Shelter in Place:
A Lesson in Resilience

Linda Chisari | Crest Road

It’s the direction we’re receiving today: Stay at home; avoid crowded gatherings; don’t attend meetings in person, unless the attendees can be at least 6’ apart. Theatre events, sporting events, political rallies…all seem trivial when viewed through the lens of putting the lives of thousands of vulnerable people at risk of being infected by the COVID-19 virus.

It seems safe to venture out on a morning walk along Crest Road in the fresh air, both to satisfy the “request” of my golden retriever to get some exercise and check his “pee-mail” and, also, to clear my mind from the breathtaking, alarming news on the face of my electronic devices and the front pages of the newspapers. The street is quiet, almost devoid of traffic; it seems as if no one is going anywhere either by car or on foot. But there are lessons in resilience along the road!

Thousands of freesias are blooming in abundance, filling the foggy air with their almost breathtaking fruity-sweet fragrance. Their bulbs have waited patiently in the ground since last March, going about whatever it is that dormant bulbs do during hibernation…hoarding food, staying away from the threat of extreme dryness.

And then there are snails! I counted 89 along the short path through Crest Rim Park. Slithering slowly along in ecstasy, laying a slimy trail that protects their tender bellies from the gritty ground, their criss-crossing trails make a beautiful lacy pattern that could have been created by an artist’s hand. Where have they been since last year this time? They’ve lived in the thin cracks between the boulders, under the rocks, sealed tightly behind their self-made epiphragms, waiting to venture out at the first sign of moisture to try out newly-restored plumpness and assuage their hunger and thirst.

So, as we shelter in place, with all the conveniences of our homes, surely we can be as resilient as these freesias and snails and, at the same time, protect our human family from a virulent infection.



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