Edward Simon Cruz
There are some days in my life that I’ll never forget. March 13, 2020, was one of those days. After getting off the bus for what turned out to be the last time in over a year, I took a walk around my neighborhood and parts of town that I suspected would close down in the coming days. It was cloudy, a little misty, yet the gray skies did not do too much to dampen my mood, because I knew that whatever happened in the coming weeks, that moment outside was mine.
Walks like those were almost eerie in the first months of the pandemic. On any given walk, I could almost always count the number of cars or other people that I saw on one hand. As America began reopening, it was initially odd to see more people and more cars, with the movement of the world around me gradually building as we yearned more and more for our “normal” lives.
Yet, even as the world keeps moving, and even as we continue returning to and redefining “normal,” I can’t help but clutch onto those moments of peace. Going outside and sauntering around town without actually going anywhere wasn’t just my way of adding steps to my Fitbit. It was a way for me to recalibrate if I was losing focus in the middle of an otherwise hectic day. It was a way for me to get out of the house and get out of my head in the process.
It was a way for me to live in the moment, embrace that moment, and remember that whatever else happened, that small, joyful moment outside was mine, and no one could take that away from me.