Thursday, 28 May 2020


These days ... I rest ... with a fan gently stirring the air around me. With eyes shut ... it creates the allusion of lying on my heavenly chaise lounge ... in my backyard ... in the halcyon glow of a perfect late spring day.

When spring came earlier this year than it had come, in over a century, it seemed like a good omen. Alas, it was an omen to-be-sure ... but, sadly ... not a good one. The Corona Virus, has robbed most of us of many of the season's simple pleasures. Thus, we have had to create our own spring ... In my case ... trapped in a high rise .. sans heavenly chaise lounge ... to say nothing of the missing back yard.

I can ... however ... conjure up breezes. And conjure them up, I do. Sometimes they come to me scented in floral emanations from my oil infuser. Sometimes they waft round me in notes of birdsong from the Sounds-of-Nature Channel. As with many things, the Spring of 2020 has produced a corona-ized version of something we love, put can't ACTUALLY enjoy ... The Zoom heads-in-squares visit ... without ACTUALLY visiting ... The shared Easter meal ... without ACTUALLY eating at the same table ... The Mother's Day Trip-to-the-Spa gift ... without ACTUALLY leaving the bath tub ... The time spent on the phone and in emails, to children and grandchildren ... without ACTUALLY hugging ... without ACTUALLY making memories.

In an email to my grandson, I reflected back on some wonderful trips that people in the family had taken and remarked that most trips begin with people dreaming about going to a place that has captured their imagination ... and I asked him if there was a place that he dreamed about. He answered that his dream was to go to a lake with his family - but that dream can't happen.

The unhappy truth about life is that there is seldom a substitute for the 'real' thing That's why we dream while we wait for reality to land on 'our joy'.

In the words of Rogers and Hammerstein in the musical South Pacific:

"You gotta have a dream
if you don't have a dream
How you gonna have a dream come true?"

photo:  The Family at Lake Cowichan, Southern Vancouver Island - July 2016 - Wendy Bourke

© 2016 Wendy Bourke 
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note: This is not part of the Prose ... but is rather, an update on the Poetry Project (for anyone interested) ... which moils on ... and is slowly being added to (and I do mean: slowly) ... rejigged ... and even, in places, flat-out done over from scratch. Like many new endeavours, it has required far more effort than imagined (and Pandemic Angst is not helping). It seems as if you just clear one hurdle and a brand new learning curve stretches out before you ... but we are learning a lot, as we ride those curves. 'A Walk in the Woods: A Tanka Celebration of Life Lived ... with a Dog' is now posted on the 'Whatnot' Website ( Check it out, if you like the idea of exploring poetry rendered in alternative-mediums (in this case: video) ... or simply just feel like checking-it-out. ~ smiles ~ 

As well, I am continuing down the path to self publishing some of my pieces ... which I also have found to be fraught with dead ends and missteps ... but, hopefully I'm getting closer ... to achieving that dream. Regardless, I can't think of a more feel-good way to shelter-in-place than ... embracing creativity.   


  1. I am so glad you are working on getting your writing together for sharing, Wendy. A good use of this time. I feel so weighted down by all that is happening that I have no energy at all. I could go out here quite safely (at least until the tourists come), but I mostly stay in. Your grandson wanting to go to a lake is poignant. Hopefully soon restrictions will be relaxed enough to manage that at least. It is always wonderful to read you, my friend.

  2. Thank you, so much, for leaving such a lovely comment on the Whatnot website, Sherry.

    I agree, getting through this unbelievably challenging time with anything vaguely resembling 'good spirits' is so hard. As you know, we have a couple of issues that make us, sadly, very vulnerable to COVID. While these were no-big-deal in January, they now pretty much define what we can and cannot do (or, at least, where we can and cannot go). I sometimes wonder if we will ever get out of this place or even, be able to spend time with our family. Having my cataract surgery cancelled midway through the two operations feels like the proverbial insult-added-to-injury. My eyesight has never been more problematic. On the plus side, the family stays in touch. My daughter calls every day and drops off 'goody-bags' filled with books and mags, bath 'smellies' and scented candles, great food and drink and just about anything else under-the-sun that might help us pass-the-time as pleasantly as possible. And it does pass pleasantly. Fortunately - as always - a lot of humour sprinkles through our days. We still laugh, a lot. And that goes a long way towards taking the sting out of what has been lost.

    Thanks for staying in touch, Sherry. I know I've been a bit remiss in that department, but will try and get an email off sometime in the next week.

  3. I feel for you. It has been a trying time for many. I have been blessed with a back yard. Would have gone stark raving otherwise. Some question the "would".

  4. I count myself blessed that I not only have a garden, but I also live in the middle of the countryside. I don’t think I could have survived in the city, especially not in a high rise. Well done, Wendy, for conjuring up breezes, keeping in touch with your grandson by email, and working on your poetry project. When poets are given so much time, we make good use of it.

  5. Like you and Kim, I feel blessed to be in nature and not in a city. And blessed by the options on technology `at present for catching up with people. Times are difficult; we accept what grace there is.

  6. I've lived in cities and countryside. At present i'm deep in the countryside, but even in lockdown, I still miss the urban; whereas one of my daughters has been alone in a flat in central London throughout. Testing times indeed.

  7. It is sad to see the way other governments have chosen to handle the corona crisis allowing so much interaction and overcrowding that lets the virus a better chance to attack. In Australia and New Zealand the disease has not affected the population as much as other countries, it has been hard to accept but and deaths are comparatively few. Only now are some the enforced strict rules being eased very slowly.

  8. Sigh, this is such a poignant write Wendy!💝 This is indeed a difficult time for us all, and I agree with the fact that there is seldom a substitute for the real thing. I miss being outdoors amid nature.

  9. It feels like we're all living in shards right now and although technology helps, it doesn't ease that sense that of splintering. You've put it so well above.

  10. These are awkward times we live in that tend to make "the dream" much simpler than it once way...a chaise lounge, a day at the lake. Perhaps we will emerge with a renewed appreciation for the simple pleasures.

  11. Your thoughts, words, emotions I share 100%. Cheers.

  12. your thought and words have stirred in me a mixture of bliss and sadness. this virus is a curse and yet we are still trying our best to live the best we could and move on, hopeful for the day when we all will be FREE to go out and live again. thank you for these feelings. Great write!

  13. The current situation has certainly taken a lot from us all, and almost everything from some. I find myself--almost every day--wishing that I could hug my boy. We each other, and talk to each other while wearing masks and standing 6 feet apart (definitely not the same as before). Nothing is what it used to be. But... like your chosen quote suggests, I dream of the day all these madness comes to an end. Oh, that will be the best hug ever!