Friday, May 15, 2020


 Walking around in the city is a very important part of who I am and what I do, and now is a time of the year when that is especially wonderful for me. This is what I call, “Deep Spring,”  the time in which the glories of spring are undeniable and super-visible everywhere and to everyone. Part of the joy of this time is the temperature-days are regularly in the 60’s and 70’a, and it is possible to walk around in a shirt without needing a jacket. Yes, wearing a mask and gloves still feels a little strange and cumbersome, and we have had a couple of pretty windy days. But in general the warmth feels good and it makes the walking lighter and more pleasurable. There are also more wonderful nature sounds around now; woodpeckers, robins, cardinals, mourning doves, bees, and goldfinches are visiting yards, gardens, and bird feeders. With the decrease in traffic on the roads now, it is much easier to hear and appreciate these sounds.

   Most spectacularly, though, spring color has arrived, and it is bursting forth on just about every block in some super-dramatic fashion. Pinks, reds, yellows, whites, greens, purples, and more are appearing via azaleas, marigolds, Japanese maples, daffodils, viburnum, mountain laurels, forsythia, tulips, and plants and shrubs I cannot identify. A walk around any corner brings one face to face with amazing color combinations. And in a world so awash in bright color, it is hard to be in a worried or sad state of mind for long.
Which is not to say there are no reasons to be worried or sad. The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise daily around the world and in just about every corner of the US. Many of us are dealing with the emotional challenges of the illness and/or death of loved ones and the problems associated with isolation and loneliness. Unemployment is at record levels, and many of us are dealing with food insecurity. And while there is talk of listing restrictions and “re-opening” society, there is still no real sense of when things that changed so suddenly might be headed back to "normal"-whatever that now means. We continue to try to adjust and adapt to this situation and try to find ways to help and to make a difference.
  One of the ways of making a difference is through the emergence of a traditional fall observance that has been adapted to present circumstances. “Giving Tuesday” started as a response to the Black Friday and Cyber Monday consumer binges that serve as lead in to winter shopping. Giving Tuesday, however, is not about consumerism. It is about donating service or money to worthy causes, largely non-profit institutions and activities designed to make the world a better place. Tomorrow is “Giving Now Tuesday,” an international day of fundraising, volunteer opportunities and more to meet some of the immediate fallout from COVID-19. It is a day of definite positive actions one can take to help groups and organizations dealing with some of the consequences of the virus. You can be involved either locally, worldwide or both. The website for Giving Now Tuesday is, 
  This year spring seems especially bright and gorgeous. The colors seem to shimmer a bit more, and the I am so glad to have the opportunity to walk, experience this, and to drink it in. Perhaps it is serving as some kind of an antidote to the situation we are all in now and as a call to try to help in whatever way we can. Do be safe, be careful, be well and if you are able, do good.

I know a lot of you are already supporting some of the groups working to meet some of the challenges associated with COVID-19. If you are looking for more or other ways to be involved locally, here are some suggestions:

Links to local Food Banks:

Homelessness: Project Home

 To report domestic violence: 

May and June gigs for the Dukes have been postponed

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