Apr 20, 2020

Reconnecting with Lucy has been a big part of the silver lining in this pandemic for me. When she was twelve, she started on her path in dance, which consumed her every waking moment. She was so focused, so sure of herself. At that same time, I was facing what appeared to be the end of my own path, unsure about what came next. Lucy was headed up the mountain, full of optimism and excitement, and I had just come tumbling down it, broken and scared. Her sight was clear, mine was foggy; we both had a lot of work to do.

And get to work we did. One step at a time, over the past six years, has led us both on all kinds of adventures, but in most instances away from each other. Throughout this past year, we were both on the road more than we were home, and we were rarely ever home at the same time. It was definitely a blessing to be busy. Still, my heart hurt daily thinking about the moments I was not just missing, but losing, that would never come back. And then, with one text message, while walking through the airport in Lima, Peru, the pandemic came into my world, and I got on the first airplane home.

This past month, despite the fear, confusion, and uncertainty, has been its own blessing. Lucy and I have spent every day with each other, talking, walking, reading, writing, exercising, playing, eating, and enjoying every moment. Our lives have slowed down, and I have surrendered to the reality that I can’t get it all done in one day, and that it’s not realistic or healthy to try. I can still work hard, but with a sense of ease that removes pressure and the anxiety that comes with it. I have felt a weight leave my shoulders, and it’s one I intend to keep off. Lucy and I have discussed this feeling and the liberation that has come with it in both of our lives, and how we want to hold onto it going forward.

I’ve traded that weight that has left my shoulders for a 30lb rucksack, and Lucy and I have been putting down miles on our “Suburban-Hikes.” Yesterday’s hike was to our old neighborhood of Naples, where Ann picked us up for some Blue Bird Sushi take-away. After that, we walked the dogs then played Scrabble as we floated through the silver lining.

Mike Vallely