— Seth Berg (@BergsEyeView) April 17, 2020
I’ve been rollerblading every day since the stay-at-home order was put in place. It’s something I can do without getting near anyone. It’s exercise. I can engage in online meetings and phone calls while I’m doing it. The wind cuts through my hair and I glide as though I’m flying, when the surface is smooth and the slope is down.
It can be exhilarating and it can be fun. It get’s me lost in thought sometimes, which I apprecaite.
It snowed today.
It’s snowed on a couple of other days, too, but today it snowed the kind of snow that doesn’t dry up. It was pretty, but it was wet. It was fluffy until it landed, and then it was puddly. It lasted all day. Rollerblading (even for a guy who tends to find a way unless there truly isn’t one) was out of the question.
So I walked.
I walked through eight phone conversations and the taping of my daily video message (above).
My glasses were fogged and water cascaded down my face, starting from beads dropping of my hair, and becoming streams running along the contours of my cheeks, water-falling from my chin.
I was sopping. My toes were cold. My feet were sore.
I was processing guilt, having been away from my family for the bulk of the morning while knowing that when I returned I would have to lock myself away to take on the overflowing communication load that piled up this week.
In a flash, realized my hardships were nothing, shifting the guilt of a few hours away from my family to the guilt of knowing that I have everything I need while so many thousands of people are suffering in unthinkable ways around the world.
Foggy glasses and cascading water didn’t seem so bad, I wasn’t actually that cold, my feet didn’t hurt so bad.
I had a few blocks left before getting to the front door of a house where my loving kids and wife were playing, and where we would sit down for a nice lunch after I shook the snow off my hair and changed my socks.
Just a few blocks away from home, after about an hour and half of walking in the snow, Peter Gabriel’s “Red Rain” came creeping into my ear buds from Pandora.
It crept at first, as it does. It built to a proper pour before long, as it also does, and I noticed I was strutting.
“Red Rain” was pouring into my ears. The beat overtook me.
The sense that we, humanity, in this moment of extreme challenge, remain kind, compassionate, and individually and collectively strong, invigorated me, and so, I was publicly strutting.
Walking to the beating drums, chin up and a bounce in my step.
I don’t know if a middle aged man struts publicly because he’s lost in something and confused, or if he does so because something has propelled him into a deepened sense of self and into enhanced clarity. It doesn’t matter. It felt good.
I din’t mind if people saw. I hoped they did.
We can’t change what we’re going through.
We can’t make it better for those who are out of our reach.
We can take care of ourselves, we can look after our families, and we can stay at home to keep distance to help flattened the curve.
We can connect by phone, through social media, and by way of loud conversations across lawns so that our hearts remain bonded.
We can project love in as many directions as we can face, and if the mood takes us, even if we’re walking down the street with slushy snow covering our heads and the greatest hits of the eighties pouring into our ears, we can strut.
Live. Love. Listen. Learn. Lead.
In it together for the kids.