“Good morning,” I said quickly before he could turn away. I couldn’t wait to talk to another human being…someone–anyone–about anything. Like everyone around me, I had been holed up in my home for far too many days due to the Coronavirus.
“Well, good morning,” he smiled, slightly startled, but pleasantly so. He was an elderly man whose home was on the route I took each day for my morning walk. I was accustomed to seeing him working in his yard but could not remember ever exchanging much more than a neighborly nod or wave.
That’s it...I sighed to myself…that’s always it with strangers…but he paused, lifted his head and walked towards me through his gate. The sun glinted off his silver hair and I could see a sparkle in his eyes behind the glasses that he wore. We stood our obligatory 6 feet apart and made the unspoken decision to have a conversation.
“How are you doing, with the virus?” I started. “Everything going all right here?”
“Oh yes,” he chuckled. “The wife and I never go anywhere. We run out to get our groceries around 7 AM before anyone’s around, but other than that we stick close to home. You?”
We continued talking…about the news, the loneliness, the depressing state of things. But then we mentioned the glorious sun and how lovely it was to be outside and to meet new people.
Eventually, it was time to move on.
“I’m Amy, by the way,” I added before walking away.
“Nice to meet you Amy. And I’m John.”
I had walked by this man and his home many times in the 12 years I’ve lived in my community, but it wasn’t until the Coronavirus that I took the time to talk to him…and learn his name.