In Bloom

I had to drive into the office early yesterday morning to pick up my office chair. I’m not as young as I used to be, and my back cannot tolerate sitting on a wooden bench or kitchen chair for 8hr days or even a two-hour webinar. DC is in full bloom, and as I drove past trees exploding with blossoms and color, I almost burst into tears. I wanted to stop, get out of the car, take pictures, breathe in the smell, but even at that hour, I was driving by the hospital, and a hospital, especially under these conditions, cannot and does not stop. So neither did I.

I have always avoided the Cherry Blossom Festival, with its crush of people clamoring to experience their beauty first-hand. The traffic is awful, parking is a nightmare, and then you’re lucky if you can get a shot of a tree with only 10 other people in front of you trying to do the same. And this year, I desperately, hopelessly want to go and see them, if only from the car window, passing by slowly, with the windows rolled down. The festival has been canceled, but I still want to go.

I asked a friend (whose photograph graces the top of this post) to share the pictures he took two years ago when he was here and visited the Festival with his high-end camera and lenses, taking better photographs than I ever could of the natural beauty. And even then, the pictures are teeming with people, walking, taking selfies, holding hands, crowding around the trees. I don’t know which part I am longing for more as I look through them, shared on facebook, the blooms or the people.

Things are slowing down, so my mind starts to settle, but in that ADHD way when there is no longer anything to hyperfocus on. What else can I be doing? So I craft public statements with other, offer free webinars, and reach out to friends to see who can talk. Aimee and I talk, or rather, we podcast again, and I feel like there is a little bit of normalcy left in the world. I am on the verge of tears the entire time we are recording, I am so relieved to hear her voice.

My daughter is trying to find things to do, my son is finally bored with video games, and I swear they’ve been home for two weeks, but my husband reminds me it has only been one. This week has felt like forever, last week another lifetime ago, with the week before that even further away. March is slipping away quickly, but also dragging on in a way that makes ADHD time even harder to process. I am grateful I do not yet have to homeschool, my kids. But I wish I had more time with them at home, as I am still working, working, working.

Maybe early tomorrow morning, at sunrise, we will wake and drive to see the cherry blossoms. Probably not, as social distancing and waking up early and and and. There are so many reasons not to go this year. And yet, it is the only thing right now that I want to do.