Long Island isn’t visible on most maps of the United States. It is a small outer island, belonging to the state of New York. I live in a quiet suburban town on the north shore of western Suffolk. This is a place of tree lined streets, local schools, houses of worship, shopping malls, and big box stores. Driving down any given street you will see local contractors, landscapers, and delivery trucks.
If you’re an “Islander” chances are good that commuting is part of your life. The Long Island Rail Road bustles with people heading into Manhattan. The LIE is always backed up traveling west bound and there are usually speed traps along the Sunken Meadow Parkway heading north. I am one of many people living on this vibrant busy island trying to navigate my way through life.
Today I went food shopping for my neighbor. She emailed me her list and Dave and I went to the food store. While I checked off her items, I was careful to keep my distance from the others. Some wore masks, others gloves, and I just kept my head down looking at her list. I thought about her living alone in the house right next door to mine, I worried about her and I felt a little heartbroken that it took a disaster for me to feel so much for someone who lives so close. As we checked out, we bought her a bouquet of flowers and placed them in her bag. That would be cheerful.
When we got back home we left the bags on her porch, rang the bell, and briskly walked down the steps to back into her driveway. She cried when she saw the flowers, and so did I. There was this flood of gratitude mixed with an underlying sense of dread at the same time. This is not just happening on my little island, this is the whole wide world.
What Can We Do?
We will do whatever we can. We will take care of ourselves, and each other. We will share our feelings and be honest about what we need to get through this terrible time. We will nurture hope and be courageous. If you don’t believe that yet, it’s ok there are no rules for how to cope with this, it is surreal. In the meantime, don’t eat a lot of sugar, get some rest, and stay hydrated. Go outside when you can, and move your body. I will be posting, so if you want to share feel free to use this space. Make yourself at home, I’m scared too, we are all in this together.