18 March 2020 – We are all adapting — in large ways, but also small. Small shifts in everyday activity, or how we perceive an activity, in this new context.

I am walking north on Willow Street, and that is already an adaptation. I had planned to be strolling the magical grounds of the VanDusen Botanical Garden. But I’m not.

Why not? Got to the Gardens, and found it closed. Just 10 minutes earlier, the slightly unnerved young staffer told me, word had come down to close the doors. Duration unknown, but effective immediately.

So I adapt, and exchange their 22 Ha for a 6-ish km walk home instead. Same sunshine and fresh air, and lots of residential-street shrubs and trees. (Albeit minus helpful botanical labelling.)

Second adaptation. If public venues are closing, I think, maybe the library system will be next. I am a junkie, about to be cut off from her usual source. Alternate source? Little Free Library boxes — that amazing book-sharing resource now totalling some 100,000 boxes worldwide.

I swear, the thought has no sooner crossed my mind than a LFL box pops in view.

Complete with cheerful spring flowers, did you notice?

I take two books.

I promise to keep my end of the bargain.

I walk on.

And I meet, some kilometres farther north/east, a call for another adaptation, this one chalked on the sidewalk at a street corner.

Perhaps not a change of behaviour, at that.

Perhaps it’s what you do anyway.

Now is sure the time for it!



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  1. Yes. Be kind; be safe. 🙂

    I arrived back in Toronto a couple of hours ago, and it’s eerily quiet. No restaurants or bars open, not even in the hotel, and no traffic. When I came through here 10 days ago, I went downtown through a bustling, busy city to a favourite French restaurant. Such a major change.

    • Vancouver is increasingly shut down as well, with non-essential shops closing their doors – only fair to their own staff, though with repercussions for everyone’s economic well-being – suddenly I feel a new appreciation for the 1918 Spanish flu phenomenon…

  2. A lot of changes we are seeing. This is the time for self care. I am reading more books, cooking and enjoying time with family. Yes, we need to be kind and safe! 🙂

  3. susan Corbin

     /  19 March 2020

    They’ve closed the TBG too. sxo

  4. I am a person who can spend many days without significant exchanges with other people. In fact sometimes if I have had a busy period meeting and talking to people I NEED to be alone so I think I am lucky in that my usual coping strategies for isolation are always ready.
    There are always things do do! Today I will make bread. I have powdered milk and enough flour and yeast for two loaves but I will probably have to get some groceries soon. Hummm. (When I have enough flour to chance a failure I am planning on trying to make some sour dough bread!) As some one who (tries to) practice Zero Waste I recently installed a bidet (thank you son-in-law) and that saves on toilet paper! (I have heard stories of toilet paper hoarding here! People are amazingly silly and sadly selfish when frightened. Sigh.) I am learning to use software for group on-line meetings! I video chat with my family once a day. In someways I am more chatty than ever since the shut down!
    But I know this isn’t easy for everyone so Cheers to all who are trying and Thank You for social distancing. You are saving lives. Maybe mine!

  5. I love these little libraries, though I have never used one. A colleague had a substantial ‘library’ in her office in Wien. I got many books from that library and put many as well. It helped me go through a really dark year.

    • Welcome! & thanks for this comment – we can all look back & see someone’s kindness that made a huge difference for us, I’m glad this colleague & her library were there for you when you needed them – stay safe and well…

  6. Well done, Penny. Take care!

  7. So its lock down all over again. I like the way you adapt. In a sense this happens as one gets older. There are some things that are not possible but my outlook is find a replacement


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    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

    "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" -- Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

    "A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities" -- Rebecca Solnit, "Wanderlust: A History of Walking"

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