I spent several hours this morning procuring and sanitizing two weeks worth of food for my family. I wore a mask and gloves and an outfit that I stripped off as soon as I stepped in the door. I sprayed all of the packages down with Lysol, a product I never used to use, while Scott scrubbed the produce in hot, soapy water. These new processes recommended by a doctor friend feel simultaneously excessive but also insufficient. Is all of this really necessary? Will all of this be enough?
But now I am sitting on the back porch in the sunshine with my notebook in my lap. As of yesterday afternoon, spring has given up teasing and finally touched down. Today it is almost too hot, which, after our long, troubled winter, feels obscenely luxurious. Silas is digging up worms to feed to our sick chicken, and Alyosha is devising some scheme I have yet to figure out which involves a pitch fork and a cooler full of dirt. Every once in a while, they will break from their projects and squeal around the yard like wild piglets. When I finish with this essay, I will spend the rest of the afternoon broadforking my garden beds and top dressing them with compost.
In this time of quarantine, I find that small things are carrying me so much farther—a hike in the woods, a crayfish sighting, a phone call from a friend, an afternoon spent working in the sun and the dirt. But the spring is no small thing; it is as big as the world. It is everything coming alive again with the promise that we will, too.