S.L. Young

"Stepping outside of my crazy, busy existence, I suddenly experienced the balance that had been missing."
S L Young Night Walk.jpg Edit

The writer, on a morning stroll.

It all came to a sudden stop.  All the things that I usually raced to accomplish were immediately put into a different perspective. I never imagined the world would seemingly pause, locked in place.

It took me a few days to refocus on the benefits of the coronavirus’s impact instead of dwelling on the surreal and overwhelming tragedy of it all. But that’s what I’m trying to do.

Once everyone was essentially placed under house arrest, those upsides began to show themselves.

First, it was the decreased traffic congestion. I remember counting less than five cars traveling on a major roadway.

Then, it was the reduction of the usual noise of people moving around Pentagon City, close to where I live. The stillness made me wonder if things would ever be the same. But I appreciated it nonetheless.

Stepping outside of my crazy, busy existence, I suddenly experienced the balance that had been missing. It’s sad that it took an existential threat to reshape my point of view.

The most impactful moment came during an early morning stroll at sunrise. As I walked the streets, I was alone in the darkness and breathing the crisp, clean morning air.  There were barely any sounds to be heard. The city air smelled like the country winds that carry the beautiful scents of the land—fresh flowers, grass, damp earth.

This smell and feeling filled me with calm, joy, and a sense of renewal.

I’ve refocused my time to spend priceless moments with my mom, who is in her 90s. I’m also reclaiming my joy of writing, learning Spanish and looking for more opportunities to teach again in person. Prior to the pandemic, I was teaching business classes at Marymount University.

This unbelievable pause has been, for me, a gift to be embraced and appreciated.  A reminder for me to be thankful for those starry-eyed moments, all the good and challenging moments of life.


Readers: We want to hear your stories. Send your 300-word COVID-19 story and a photo to editorial@arlingtonmagazine.com.  You can read more Covid Chronicles essays here

Categories: Covid Chronicles
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