hello dear people.
i love the world and i have been out in it. the natural world is my antidote to an invisible virus that moves among us, making contact with other people not practical or safe right now.
i move down the trails and over the sand. through the trees and damp grass. on the seashore at dawn one can experience extreme social distancing. even during pre-pandemic times it was mostly just me and the waves, seaglass, shorebirds, anemones, bracing sea air. but during the pandemic one is even more rewarded by rising early.
i’m aware of beach closures in many areas up and down the coast. the ones i visit regularly are still open. per usual, i take my walk then retreat – a few shells jingling in my pockets. back home to read, write, cook, have marco polo chats with sisters and friends. the other day a box of easter candy arrived on my doorstep, sent from a sweetheart who lives on a farm in wisconsin.
i am struck by how fortunate i am to still receive a salary, to not have my life upended like many have. classroom life has moved online and we are all adapting.
i post a question a day for the kids to answer in our google classroom. yesterday’s was: “What’s the first thing you are going to do when the STAY AT HOME order is lifted, the pandemic is over, and you can leave your house? Someone wrote: “Go outside and breathe fresh air because I miss the fresh air. Maybe go eat and go enjoy the new world because you never now when things like the CORONAVIRUS CAN HAPPEN”
do let me know what’s happening in your world. where you’re walking, what you’re eating, reading, making. i’ll just be here, doing the pandemic shuffle. living my life. not waiting for anything to begin or end.
on my bookshelf
2 books – one dark one light. i bet you can guess which is which. thanks to my libby app from the LAPL, i am never without books to transport me to fresh new worlds where both goodness and darkness stand at attention. i do appreciate a variety!
sharing is caring
with your permission i shall give a short speech. i like knowing i can count on garrison keillor to provide succor in these extraordinary times.
if you haven’t seen this riveting netflix mini-series, you’re missing out. unorthodox is simply incredible.
i discovered james blake this week and this gorgeous video.
america is thirsty for anthony fauci. AND andrew cuomo!
coronation. a long thoughtful piece about the pandemic.
nanci stone says
What a lovely post, those photos of the sea are so nice and calming. In all this chaos, we need more calm. Thanks for sharing with us, it is uplifting and just what we need, to study nature and breathe it all in.
Loretta Marvel says
Hello dear Mary Ann! My husband and I managed a visit our son in San Francisco right before all hell broke loose pandemic-wise. Haven’t been there in twenty years. Walked around gaping at Jade plants grown as landscaping bushes and terraces filled with waist high rosemary. While there, we spent more time in by the sea than in the city. I have Muir Beach and Point Reyes under my skin. I may have to leave Cape Cod and move there if this quarantine ever ends. He would be very happy if we did. He plans to quit his job as a graphic designer and live on the beach with us out by Point Reyes light. I will work at the Point Reyes bookstore and draw caricatures of the tourist on weekends for pocket money. Think we can buy a waterfront cottage for say…$50? Oh well, there’s always getting a Vanagon and hiding it under the bushes at night.
Reading – The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas ILLUSTRATED BY MAIRA KALMAN. Drooling over her illustrations. Eat Dove dark chocolate. Painting tulips in all stages from bud to blowsy. Glad you are posting and showing us glorious California plants and shore. Mway!
Thanks for including James Blake MaryAnn. I had listened to him a few years ago but he fell off my radar with other life things. I hope you can/have heard some of his Instagram concerts. A wonderful chance to
Jane S. says
Lovely photos Mary Ann and the perfect isolated place to ride out the chaos of the world. I do miss jumping into the car and meeting for lunch or browsing antiques/arts/library/coffee shop, but have been plowing through my books and journaling. Just finished “The Giver of Stars” by Jojo Moyes which I thought was good. Please keep your dispatches coming. They are always something to look forward to. 💕
Kristi Shreenan says
There truly is nothing like being immersed in nature to soothe the soul. Now more than ever. I think about those who are not able to get outside or look out a window at a blue sky, the trees and flowers and grass. I hope they can find a way to cope.
I feel fortunate like you in that we live near the ocean, and the view and scent of it calms my heart to no end.
I’m quite happy walking our dog, having our college children at home, cleaning out closets and knitting. I don’t feel the stress of being anywhere on time which is so very strange and freeing. I’ve been reading the “Improbability of Love” by Hannah Rothschild (which I think you may want to read) and watching “Anne With An E” which I adored. I’ll need to watch Unorthodox next from what I’m reading in the comments. And while I’m working at the dining room table, I do hope to be making some art soon. The paints and papers and ephemera are calling.
Thank you for being there Mary Ann. Your presence especially now is so uplifting.
Stay well and keep exploring the wild!
Mary Ann, I’ve been reading your dispatches for years and I don’t remember if I’ve ever told you how much I appreciate them, they’re always such a breath of fresh air! Especially now, we’ve been indoors here in western New York state, it seems like forever. I always really love your coastal shots, we live in a small town, only lakes here and there.
One of the things we’ve done is go out back (we have half an acre in town) and map out in the yard the size and shape of a narrow boat. We are big fans of youtube’s “Cruising the Cut” and we thought if would be fun to see how big David’s narrow boat is. Tiny house living on the canals! We were surprised by how small his boat is.
OK, so this isn’t really important and I got off track, but anyway, thank you for continuing to share your dispatches and showing that we can still be ‘normal’ during this weird time.
Mary Ann Moss says
i am going to check out Cruising the Cut! thanks, never heard of it. your backyard mapping sounds creative and fun. thanks for the update. i do love reading them
That was a lovely walk you took us on, Mary Ann. I like to think of you noticing and admiring all this beauty.
I am good at self-isolation and enjoy being able to focus on a thing I’m making: at present, embroidering beautiful words onto fine white linen, also weaving with sarai silk waste, so shining and such delicious colours. I have only a few small spaces left in the antique album you sent me long ago and I’m finishing that with some precious family memories; everything must earn its place. I could send a few photos, if you would like to look for them in your emails?
I am taking part in the Poem Exchange which is rich and rewarding – although Shakespeare’s Sonnet 71: ‘No longer mourn for me when I am dead’ – was unexpected! Happy days.
Hi Maryann, I love your blog, always have. Unorthodox was amazing. There is also a book which was a great read, I think you might enjoy it. Have a good week. Sally-Ann 😊
Kate Burroughs says
I m so grateful for your dispatches from wherever you go, especially in these times of coronavirus. I am blessed to have a big backyard to keep me very busy and out in nature every day.
Laura Whalen says
I so enjoy your dispatches and your pictures and sketches; I can feel the salty ocean air in your descriptions. Thanks so much for that.
I’m grateful for this pause in life to spend time watching a Black-Capped Chickadee couple building a nest in my yard bird box. Their sprightly comings and goings are pure delight and I’m looking forward to seeing their little family grow up on my patio. My Peonies are emerging, the Clematis are budding and all the trees and shrubs are ready to burst after our very mild winter.
Keep those hands clean and carry on!
Sandra L. says
This line in the “Coronation” essay made me weep: “Last year, according to the FAO, five million children worldwide died of hunger (among 162 million who are stunted and 51 million who are wasted). That is 200 times more people than have died so far from Covid-19, yet no government has declared a state of emergency or asked that we radically alter our way of life to save them.”
Thank you for posting that excellent piece.
I just finished re-reading the Jackson Brodie books by Kate Atkinson. Right now, I am reading “Girl in a Blue Dress,” a novel based on the life of Catherine Dickens, wife of Charles. Boy, if that book is real, he wasn’t a nice guy at all!
Stay well, my friend. XOXO
Love your blog. Photos are so lovely. Be safe. Thank you so much for brightening my day. Neila
Sheila Earhart says
Breathtaking. The answers from your students are insightful and a little sad, but thought provoking for all of us. Thank you, MAM! ❤️
Yoo Hoo! it’s just me, SISTER!!!! telling you I love all your pictures and I was especially struck by those ?mexican marigolds and the shadows they cast on the boardwalk. Very very very lovely. Did you eat the ears off that bunny first thing? That’s what you used to do when you were little… unless one of us got to your bunny before you did. Not that I ever did that.