Thursday, December 31, 2020

Driveway ice show

Flattened chaos
London, ON
December 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram

Calli the Wonderschnauzer discovered this frozen scene on this morning's walk, wedged in the usually-overlooked sliver of dirty asphalt where the driveway meets the sidewalk.

She's got quite the eye - and nose, as I had to pry her away from the ice before I could take this picture.

Our dog's photographic vision aside, this scene strikes me as an appropriate metaphor for a year many of us would rather forget.

Indeed, 2020 will be remembered as the year when COVID took away some pretty memorable folks, including Mary Ann, Darth Vader, and the guy who inspired Bull Durham.

The real numbers are even more sobering: as of today, over 1.8 million souls have been lost, with countless others' lives permanently altered by a scourge that will doubtless paint the next year as darkly as it did this one. From job losses to shuttered main streets, overwhelmed hospitals, mental health crises, and spillover impacts to health and life that we can't even begin to imagine, we'll be paying for 2020 for years to come.

Yet the mere fact that I write this - and that you're reading it - is testament to the fact that we survived when so many did not. Whatever the calendar may say, life will always throw challenge our way, and our choice will be to either face it or cave to it. Let's not fool ourselves that an arbitrarily defined 366-day period in history is any more or less special in this regard. It wasn't, and it isn't.

This morning, a dog who wants nothing more than to be loved by everyone she meets found something in the usually-ignored margins of the neighborhood that made her happy. She graciously stood by as I recorded the scene and pondered what it meant before we continued our journey. We'll be out again later today, and tomorrow, and every day for as long as the universe gifts us with the opportunity.

Maybe we'll find more scenes of random, fleeting, imperfect light in the margins. In fact, I'm counting on it.

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