I’ve had a pretty long life, at age 71. I’ve been through two marriages, multiple careers, dozens of jobs, many layoffs, a fair amount of therapy, and years of education. This year, the Plague Year, has had its share of precious moments, especially, for me, those moments when I chose to defy the first actual tyranny I have experienced in my long life. Unlike today’s pampered young people, I know history, and the effects of tyranny on the human spirit.
Back in March, when the Health Nazis locked down our state; closing most businesses, confining healthy people to their homes, forbidding travel, and encouraging the entire population to live in the fear of all other people, I got in my car and drove up to the Skagit Valley, to take in the scenery. So far this year, my husband and I have taken a few day trips, and one big vacation in September, driving to South Dakota for a meetup with friends we hadn’t met yet, whom we met online through Ricochet.com. Every moment we spent with our old and new Ricochet friends was precious.
The first photo was taken on our walk around Mount Rushmore. The couple on the left is from South Carolina, and the couple on the right came from North Dakota. The other two were taken at the vacation home, called “The Castle” that a group rented for the long weekend. The rest of us who were staying elsewhere would meet there to regroup for the next activity. Everyone was comfortable with everyone else, and there were no masks or social distancing in evidence. A more wonderful group of people you cannot imagine. Every day, I thank Ricochet for bringing me a whole new “family”.
Back in 1991, I went to Cambridge, England, by myself, for a three-week summer program sponsored by UCLA. Every single moment of that trip was precious. I lived in student housing at Trinity Hall College, and took a course in Medieval English Society, taught by a “Don” from Gonville and Caius College. We went on many field trips around the area, to see ruined castles, monasteries, and churches. We visited wool-towns and college libraries. Everything was just magic.
I would often sit on the concrete wall in the back of the College, and watch the boats on the River Cam. Next door was Trinity College, which would rent you a flat-bottomed boat called a “punt”. Those were some of my most precious, and relaxing, moments.
My husband and I went to Victoria, British Columbia, for our honeymoon in 2003, and we try to go back there every couple of years. We stay at the same hotel where we stayed then, and walk all over the town. We have High Tea at the Empress Hotel, and visit the Butchart Gardens, which are spectacular.
Those moments in Victoria have become much more precious today, since the border has been closed for much of this year, and we are forbidden to travel there.
This year, most lived moments are more precious than ever. We more highly value every moment outside our homes, where we have been confined, supposedly for our “own good”. I think we pay much closer attention to things around us this year, because in many cases, we have been prevented from enjoying them.
Pause, reflect, and make every moment precious.