• 79°

Sharon Randall: Lessons learned while at home

By Sharon Randall

What do you do when you’ve done all you need or want to do?

Before the coronavirus quarantine, I never asked myself that question. My life was full. I wrote a column each week, as I still do, and traveled to speak in places around the country. When I wasn’t traveling, I hung out with my husband. I still do that, too.

But we often went out to dinner or to the grocery store or appointments. We visited family and friends. He played in a band and I went to his gigs, taking our grandsons who think he’s a rock star. Our kids often came to visit and we’d cook and laugh and eat.

Now? We keep in touch by FaceTime and phone. We read online to the older grandkids, laugh at videos of the little ones and e-visit with loved ones daily.

Recently, my son-in-law left a pizza on our porch. My daughter dropped off plants for our patio. And my youngest brought his three babes to see us. We kept 6 feet apart. I never dreamed 6 feet could seem so far.

The only other faces we see are drivers who leave groceries at our door. We sit out most evenings watching the sunset. Neighbors go by walking their dogs and we wave from afar.

But no one comes in. And we don’t go out. It’s like solitary confinement. For two. Luckily, we like each other. Usually. And thankfully, our basic needs are met. But some days pass slowly and I have a lot of time to think.

   I think about our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren. I wonder what the world will be like in years to come. I’ve been wondering about those things since I was a child and never find an answer.

Sometimes, to quiet my mind, I turn my thoughts into prayers. I’m not good at it, but I hope God hears me anyhow. Sooner or later, I go back to thinking. Today, instead of thinking, I took a drive with my husband.

Spring in California is hard to believe. Hills that were brown in summer, one spark away from bursting into flame, have turned bright green, lush with tall grass and speckled with wildflowers.

We stopped a while to watch a herd of deer grazing in a field thick with lupine and poppies. The green of the hills, the blue of the sky, the sound of the wind in the trees and most of all, the ease with which those deer went about their lives, filled me with a peace I’d not felt for days. Nature takes a break in winter. Birds fly south. Bears hibernate. Plants and trees go dormant. In spring, it awakes, rested and ready to be alive.

Humans take vacations, but our minds keep working, even when there’s nothing to do.

My grandmother spent her last 20 years mostly alone. As a child, I loved to visit her. Every morning, we did chores. Picked beans. Fed chickens. Gathered flowers for the table. She taught me to read, play checkers, and crochet. And we took long walks on the mountain studying plants and birds and clouds.

Once, I asked her what she did all day when I wasn’t there. “The same things,” she said, “except checkers. It’s not much fun to play checkers alone. I go for walks most days. If it rains, I sit on the porch. If I stay inside, I think too much. Nature always seems to soothe my soul.”

Some of us spend our lives inside self-imposed walls, keeping busy when there’s nothing to do, thinking about questions that have no answers.

If we learn nothing else from this quarantine, maybe it can teach us how to rest, how to be alone with ourselves and each other in the real world — not a world of TVs and computers and pointless thoughts, but one of green hills, blue skies and hope.

Randall can be reached on her website: www.sharonrandall.com.

Comments

Sports

Summer baseball: Rowan County Seniors NC3 schedule

Columnists

Greg Edds: Recommit to respect, common decency in Rowan County

Crime

Janitor shot at Bendix Drive hotel

Coronavirus

New zip code in county sees COVID-19 cases with more than 300 new tests reported

Local

‘I can’t breathe’: More than 100 protesters participate in downtown ‘lie-in’

Crime

Eight shootings in three days: Kannapolis Police ask for public’s help

Crime

Blotter: June 6

Nation/World

Michael Jordan giving $100 million for racial equality, justice

Nation/World

Demonstrators vow to sustain momentum until change happens

Coronavirus

Gov. Cooper vetoes bill to let N.C. bars serve patrons again

Business

Windows send a message: Fish Bowl writes names of police brutality victims on storefront

Crime

Missing Salisbury teen found in Atlanta with registered sex offender

Crime

Man charged with damaging Salisbury Post window arrested, charged

Local

‘Message of unity’: Protesters dress in ‘Sunday best’ to honor George Floyd

Local

Wallace Cancer Institute gets new linear accelerator

Columnists

Charles Jeter: Still a Republican, no longer believe in president

China Grove

Blotter: China Grove man arrested on breaking and entering, felony drug charges

Columnists

Cal Thomas: Unusual conversation between radio hosts

Local

China Grove cancels Farmers Day because of COVID-19

Editorials

Editorial: Continue to follow health guidelines on coronavirus

Sports

Sports briefs: Former West basketball player killed in accident

Coronavirus

One additional new COVID-19 case in veterans home; average age of positive cases drops

Coronavirus

Legislators aim to reopen gyms over governor’s order

Local

SPD: Officers weren’t ordered to protect ‘Fame’