January 31, 2020, Midnight beckoned me to the front porch of my fog blanketed salt marsh to witness the phantom booms and occasional splash of fireworks above the tree lines. For me? So typical of 2020–but not. My vision was not satisfied as much as my hearing. Like thunder, the firework explosions were North, then East, and probably if I ran within the geography of my house— South and West. But, I leaned against the white pillar of my front porch in Target flannel pajamas and searched the eastern horizons—silence between downtown Charleston and further to the Edge of America, Folly Beach. It reminded me of the social distancing echoed throughout the 2020 pandemic. Charleston became my home and heartbeat of a final community after roaming and uprooting during my parents’ US Navy journey. All the phantom booms recalled memories of my Charleston— 1964 and further sporadically. Flashed in my memory banks for a long slow stretch.
But in reality, 2020 stretched on, too many circles of political, medical or social uses of instant information and restrictions— not necessarily fact validated or able to be “normal.” Abnormal restrictions in my lifetime— I’m a porch talker not a texter. Fortunately, I enjoy the presence of my husband in my home and other friends that were released to be one on one as some boundaries relaxed. I strived to be aware of supporting something good for us all— including my wellbeing. But, a constant for me everyday. So, back to New Year’s Eve.
Should have been crowds of horn tooting, sparkly, boots, scarf fashions, and ball dropping opportunities. I put myself into a neutral gear, and sank into the efforts of my community to spur family hub, neighborhood, burg, country and city to talk to each other at the stroke of midnight with fireworks. Reminded, there was a boom— another symbol of cannon fire, inspiring our “Star Spangled Banner” words as they did my blog. It was lonely but hopeful, enlightening but grey, made me smile as tears threatened to spill over my eyelids mesmerized by the sensual underload. (Yes, underload)
For months, I reluctantly learned how to Zoom which rewarded me with deeper friendships across my country with authors sharing their backgrounds and stories connected vicariously and through Kathy L. Murphy and my muse, Shari Stauch. Fellow wordsmiths I briefly crossed paths in January in Jefferson, TX and Pulpwood Queens’ Weekend. But, now we were admiring each other’s journey, not ego. Quarantined or discovering ways to promote each other’s works and relating to someone’s tale?
Bottom line for me? 2020 was a year that reminded me of what it was like to grow up as a Baby Boomer— adaptive and resilient, hard and soft, patient and responsive and of all things— a community giver. The benefactor of our legacies who gave me a chance to follow the best of Free-will, free society with all the warts that were on it.
To receivers, I hope there was a way to give to someone struggling. Or alternatively, accepting the blessings of someone recognizing my need for a hug or a sincere word of encouragement? I was blessed to be a giver as well as a receiver. To my Maker, I pray I discerned those in need and thanks to all were encouragement for me to weather this Fog. Sorry to lose others that pulled away instead of finding the fulfillment of unconditional love.
Anyone relate, what a new chapter to our ever-changing stories! Love your self-growth moments! Hollywood took it well! The epiphany of in the moment?