The relief I sense by the lessening grip of Covid-19 is palpable. Recently Trudy and I even attended a gathering of friends, all vaccinated of course, and while we met and ate outside, none felt the need to wear a face mask. I felt like Mel Gibson’s character in the movie Braveheart with pent up emotion urging me to shout out, “Freedom.” Well, I didn’t actually do it, but I felt like doing it.
It’s been hard waiting out the pandemic but living on acreage undoubtedly made it easier for us to tolerate than for most folks who don’t have the space to spread out. Ice Storm Uri about which I wrote earlier, also took its toll on both our emotions and our ranch. And now summer is here and many opportunities are upon us!
The vaccination center in which we worked during the pandemic has now closed. Unfortunately, it wasn’t because we had vaccinated everyone, as only 38% of the local population received vaccinations. Instead it was because we simply could not fill appointments any longer. Hopefully the remainder of the local population will follow up with their doctors and receive Covid-19 vaccinations. Anti-vaccination sentiment locally has been waning, but I’ve been amazed and saddened to see a medical topic become so politicized. As if the coronavirus in question knows if someone votes for Republicans or Democrats? It really doesn’t care, as the virus only infects those who are vulnerable.
To further boost our beleaguered spirits, the serious dry spell has ended. We in central Texas had been listed as being in a serious drought. Hay was running short before the grass finally greened up. We’ve now had heavy rains over the last several weeks and lots of growth. The fields are lush and the hay is ready to be cut. The cattle are fat and the cows are dropping healthy and cute little calves. The stock ponds are full or nearly so and the creeks are flowing rapidly. The waterfall at Hidden Falls is as impressive as I’ve ever seen it.
The cool, dry winter had made the local cacti flower. The picture below was taken before the rains started. Various meanings are attached to the blooming of cacti but one is that it provides protection from danger and threats. Now that certainly fits with the pandemic and strange weather we’ve had. Also yellow blossoms suggest strength and endurance. Perhaps the flowering cacti provided encouragement throughout this past challenging winter.
Other meanings attached to flowering cacti suggest sexual attraction between two people, especially in the Japanese tradition. Hmmm, at my age this seems less likely. In any event the cacti flowered wonderfully just before the rains began, providing hope for a wet spring and summer, and well even at my age sexual attraction might still be a possibility.
The greatest aspect of the waning pandemic has been visits with family and friends. Perhaps the high point for Trudy and me has been to better know our one year old grandson, Teddy. Travel has been a challenge due to the pandemic. Now we are seeing Teddy and his parents on a regular basis. And Teddy has learned to walk. New life, flowers, rain, and travel. Can life get any better than this? I hope your life has taken a definite uptick as well. FREEDOM!!!