Highly politicized and strangely divisive. I was pondering over this mask phenomenon upon hearing news on TV about the mask controversy. A very simple thing, yet on the hot seat of public opinion. While we have the freedom to choose or take sides, my inclination leans toward common sense and well-being, all politics aside.
As I was tinkering with this thought, I spotted a picture on Facebook posted by my son-in-law Matt, who touted the lovely and relaxing day he spent at Laguna Beach, Los Angeles with my daughter Joy. Two seagulls, one carried a mask in its beak. The other was just ambling ahead to meet the waves. Hmmm … my interpretation was that the first bird wanted to wear the mask. Smart seagull, I thought. But someone else remarked that the bird was going to throw the mask out to the waves. Interesting. I was just toying with the tension between both sides of the controversy in my mind – and there appeared the seagull picture in front of my eyes, oddly mirroring that controversy.
Seagulls at Laguna Beach, Los Angeles (Photo by Matt Rosenburg)
Well, what do you think? Venture to guess what’s on the seagull’s mind. This does not advance any rhetoric, but whatever your response is reveals what side you’re on (regarding the use and value of the mask) … of course, politics aside (really?!).
Monterey – a tease for seafood and poetry
Then, I saw a photo on FB of my son John, daughter-in-law Natasha and grandson Eliott at Old Fisherman’s Wharf in beautiful Monterey, California. Immediately, I imagined fish and chips.
Fish & chips, seafood sandwich ordered on a whim (Photo by Linda PJ)
The new norm teaches new habits and preferences. Some welcomed and some not. Some good, and some less good (a softer term than bad). I speak here about the welcomed and good. Sheltering in during these pandemic times diminishes or veils the attractions and distractions outside the home. For some, the confinement is difficult, since the limit of outdoor activities has stretched for months. While we understand the wisdom of following health guidelines, we adjust our basic instinct for freedom of movement, and for some, this curtailment can be painful. Yet, we have a choice. The choice between playing it safe, or the impulse to ignore advice. I choose to follow good advice as best I can.
A few times, I’ve been asked if I get bored staying mostly at home. The question never baffles me. Quite normal. Being “holed in” is a challenge. Even squirrels and gofers need to get out of their holes at least once in a while. But my answer has always been – no. And thank God for that. What do I do, they ask. I just try to find simple pleasures some of which I shall share with you here.
I sit in front of my laptop and surf for interesting Facebook postings of friends. I especially search for upbeat messages, and most especially for beautiful pictures with stories behind them. While some people decry the disadvantages and cons of this social medium, it definitely owns some benefits. I focus on the benefits.
Today, a lush picture of an orchid plant grabbed my attention.
Simple pleasure — free to behold (photo by Debbie Dillon)
A most relaxing Sunday for me today. The usual of the new norm. Late Sunday mornings are generally spent attending the livestream worship service followed by a sermon discussion session on zoom. Today’s was special, just like on other Sundays. The whole conglomeration of praise songs, community prayers and teaching inspired by Scripture created a sacred aura almost magical in a high spiritual sense, and soothing to the heart that seeks calm and peace in the midst of worldly clamor. Pastor Dan’s message, based on verses from First Peter in the Bible, touched on the steadfastness of faith and what church is to the people of God.
After the service and discussion online was a light lunch for me, slow and totally unhurried, while digesting a bit of weekend news capsules from the TV broadcast, I then shifted to sit in front of my laptop and pored over Facebook messages and postings. One particularly caught my attention – a stunning scenic picture shared by my nephew’s daughter. The photo triggered happy memories.
“Backyard” of the La Union beach home (photo by Kim Pandes)