Monday, May 4, 2020

Dolphins in North Lake

So today, much of the nation re-opens.  Some will re-open slowly; some states will crash back into what they hope will be the time before the pandemic, when we can just go back to work and go out to lunch and take trips again.

Of course, those of us who have been keeping track will point out that the virus is still out there, even more widely spreading than before, none of us with immunity, no cure, no vaccine.  We haven't used this lock-down time to manufacture more masks, more gowns, more protective gear, more beds.

We may be slightly worse off because the lock-down went so well.  Now we'll go back to having elective surgery, non-elective surgery, all the ways we may clog up hospitals just when the virus attacks us all even more widely.

This past week-end, we saw my brother-in-law, who works as a Surgical Tech in a local hospital.  He's in the maternity ward (do we still call it that?), but he was able to see the impact of the virus on the whole hospital.  The refrigerated trucks on hand for the bodies that were expected, the ones that would fill the hospital morgue and overflow--those weren't needed.

I fear that those refrigerator trucks will be needed with the next phase of the virus, which I am expecting in July or August, not October or November.

I was thinking of all those things as I walked this morning.  I took a minute, as I often do, at North Lake, which is a very small tidal lake in my neighborhood.  It's connected to the Intracoastal Waterway, but the part where I walk is fairly shallow, so there aren't any anchored boats.

Today the fish skittered across the surface, which is unusual--lots of fish jumping out of the water.  Usually it's completely calm.  I've never seen more than one fish jumping at a time, but this morning was different.

I stared at the sunrise, which was beautiful, as usual.  And then I thought I saw a fin arcing out of the water.  Could my eyes be playing tricks on me?

I continued to stare at the water, as did a woman who was distracted away from her yoga routine.  On my way back, I asked her if she thought we were seeing dolphins.  She said she had only seen them in the islands.

I walked away thinking I was headed home.  But then another big splash distracted me, so I stared a bit longer.  I was rewarded by another fin arcing through the water.  This time I was sure I was seeing at least one dolphin.  The woman doing yoga and I shouted our joy at each other.

It was a good reminder that even as the world struggles to adjust to this new normal, there are signs of every day miracles, if one stays alert.

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