Reclamation

Pelican Flying

Like many people, my life was hit hard by the pandemic. My two decades-long hobbies halted abruptly. Swimming and playing in orchestra are my two life lines, both regular fixtures in my life for over twenty years.

I began lap swimming in the 1990’s to rehabilitate my leg after an accident. Instead of physiotherapy, I used to swim three times a week. After two years my leg was healed and I had a new routine. When the pandemic hit, followed by waves of severe lock downs, it was impossible to find an open pool. After avoiding pools, and public places in general, I finally dusted off my swim cap. I found a few public pools with lap hours that fit my schedule. I made a plan to go once a week, starting slow at first. Then Omicron.

I started ensemble playing practically the same week I started playing bassoon in the 1980’s. The two are inseparable in my mind. Practicing by myself is lonely without the thought that orchestra would be a possibility again. I reached out to a local orchestra and discovered there might be an opening for me starting this year. Then Omicron. Now I’m not sure if there will be more delays.

The constant starting and stopping of my beloved routines has been disruptive. When the pandemic started, it was hard to not to fixate on all the things I couldn’t do. Things I loved so dearly. Slowly, over time, without realizing, I found new ways to reclaim the missing parts of my life. It happened quietly and with an imperceptible detection. In fact, I didn’t realize what had happened until I was preparing holiday gifts for my friends.

This year I made homemade granola for everyone. Some even had raisins I made myself in my dehydrator. All of a sudden I realized my new hobby, and passion, had become food preservation. I’ve always hated food waste. I suppose since we started bulk buying groceries to avoid frequent trips to the grocery store, we were no longer able to finish everything before it went bad. My first project was learning how to dehydrate fruit. Now I’m about to expand production to homemade yogurt.

In this small way, I’ve been able to reclaim some of the many things lost, or missing, due to the pandemic.

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