April 6, 2020
Big White seems like a distant memory now, Only Three weeks since the amazing season we were having, was cut short. A virus that began in China in December has now invaded the world and changed everyone’s life. The exodus from the mountain was sudden and complete; today it feels a world away.
I get up early and jump on my motor cycle to deliver some paperwork downtown. Another bonus of the shut down; traffic is light. The exhilaration of the acceleration heats my blood as I roar down the highway en-route to my morning meeting. Keeping my distance I deliver the log book and head back home. Enjoying the freedom of the road, I reconnect with my 1300 cc beast and remind myself to keep my speed down; I really can’t afford a ticket right now.
At home I encourage my daughter to arise, she moves slowly like a zombie awaking from the dead. She grunts at me and says ‘coronabreak’. I wonder if her mother will have more luck tomorrow when she goes back to her. My teen dresses and comes downstairs to join the living. Life is short I implore her, it is time that we can’t get back. She pleads to see her friend; I surrender and allow her friend to come hang out outside: six foot distances. I understand how, when you are fourteen, social distance makes absolutely no sense.
I connect via email with a cousin in Amsterdam. Things are locked down there and there is no end in sight. I make a phone call to a friend in Wisconsin and we compare notes. Golf courses; closed, restaurants; closed, Liquor stores; open! It is one of the first times in history that the planet is connected and united in such a way. We all are in this together and we all look forward to returning to the way it was. Will that be possible or is the damage too great. The question is simmering in the foreground, is the price worth it, and is the cure worse than the disease? We will never truly know.
Days are getting longer, the sun is setting and we head for Peachland for a walk by the lake. It feels eerie as the town is still asleep. We walk the empty sidewalks beside our beautiful Lake Okanagan. A super moon gleams above the mountains across the lake. We enjoy the calming presence of the lake beside us and walk toward our goal, Ice cream at the store. When we arrive, to my disappointment, the Ice cream place is closed. I look longingly in the window at the woman there, she smiles and points at the ice cream, I plead with my eyes and she opens the window. Ice cream is all we want and she cheerfully, carefully serves us up some sweet goodness. Connecting with Carol the owner of the fish and chip place on the main drag in Peachland, we enjoy the moment, and enjoy the deliciousness of human contact and fresh Ice-cream. Carol is not upset and assures us that the business and people of our valley are resilient and will survive this disaster, much like she has survived others before.
While my wife drives us home I lose myself in the wonderful view in front of me. I see a glimpse of red in the sky, fleeting like so many moments in time can be. It only lasts a few minutes and is gone. In the glow of the super-moon I feel refreshed, certain that as the days get longer we will get stronger. Time is on our side.