As more and more weeks pass in these strange times, I have realized that I have a new appreciation for some pretty simplistic, basic things I took for granted in life.

My husband and I went out for a brief walk-about this blustery, snow-showery May afternoon. Surprisingly, we ran into a neighbor and his dog.  We had a pleasant chat and catch-up, accompanied by his lab’s enthusiastic chasing of tiny sticks and even dandelions.

Some other friends passed by, a very normal scene these days of mom friends, kid friends and dog friends strolling along together (and yet apart).  We all waved.  Then one of them returned back to talk to me–from a distance–sharing some canine family member news and memories.

Before all this, I don’t think such brief interactions would have stayed particularly long in my head.  It would have been one more thing packed into the busy day. 

But now, I am appreciating these chance encounters–quite a bit, actually. 

So “appreciation” goes onto my list of a silver lining for today. 

I am sorry it has taken a pandemic to remind me to feel more appreciation for little human encounters. 

However, I’m into cutting myself some slack at the moment. (And I hope you all are, too; I think we need to be particularly kind to ourselves–and of course, each other–right now.)