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  • Felice Cohen

Then I Remember


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Each morning I open my eyes and for one second think, “What a crazy nightmare.” Then I remember.

There are moments during my day when nothing seems amiss. I still work from home, still make my bed, still start my day with meditation.

My days are broken up with six-mile walks around the city. Either along the Hudson River, around Central Park, or sometimes I pick an avenue and just go. And for a moment, the city looks the same, sounds the same, smells the same and my mind, which is having a hard time wrapping around this new reality, tricks me into thinking it’s an early Sunday morning and everyone is sleeping. But then I see a “closed” sign on a Starbucks in the middle of a workday and I remember.

I do the walks for exercise, but also for the normalcy it brings. People walking dogs, birds singing, flowers blooming has a calming effect. It’s spring, but this exciting time of the year when we open windows, clean out closets and make plans for summer feels hollow.

I’ve stopped thinking, “Last week I was raking leaves in Central Park.” “Last month I went to the theater three times in a week.” Now the days pass like a scene from the movie “Groundhog Day,” each day mimicking the day before. If we had a hard date of when this would be over, we might feel a little calmer, knowing we can get through this for 20 days. It’s the unending of it that makes my brain spiral into fear, and fear is not what we need right now. We need comfort and support. Then I remember. I have that.

I started a weekly Zoom call with family and friends. Seeing the familiar, loving faces of those who make me feel hopeful and happy is exactly what we need right now.

Wishing you good health and safety.

Sending a virtual hug.

Felice

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