Prerogative Fall 2020 - Page 54

ONE MORE THING by Emily Rice In this unprecedented year of 2020, time moves differently. In spurts, stutters and downright standstills. Blink, and you will miss a season change. Of course, the world continues to turn, time is the same, but our perception of time is different. So, how to combat those tendencies in this strange world? I’ve recently realized that seasons can live in our minds. While we may not have been able to travel to the beach this summer, we made do and explored attractions closer to home. Swimming holes, long forgotten are rediscovered by new generations, childhood memories are revisited in our national forests and children’s activities are built from scratch in the backyard. I have seen my family only twice since the initial lock down of the CO- VID-19 pandemic. With members of my family being immunocompromised, we have to be very careful. We met with our dogs on leashes, packed lunches in hand and masks covering our faces. The place we chose to meet? One of the cornerstones of my childhood. As a child I spent a lot of time in the backseat of our SUV on road trips, staring out the window at the Appalachia Mountains blurring past my window, in a near pattern. Summer road trips were particularly fun what with no homework to worry about when we returned home, the freedom was palpable. One of our favorite spots was the Grandview Amphitheater. A highlight of my summer break was the road trip to The New River Gorge area. We would spend all day in the sun, playing in the river and swimming. In the evening, we would clean up, eat dinner and head to the Amphitheater to watch the annual musical production of the Hatfield–McCoy feud. I remember watching with eyes locked on the beautiful dancers spinning in their dresses and telling the history of the land surrounding us. These highlights of childhood were revisited this year when the Grandview Amphitheater became a meeting point for me and my parents. While we were only able to meet there twice before further issues came into play, I couldn’t help but constantly reminisce. I arrived before my parents at our first meet up. I took the opportunity to explore the deserted amphitheater, so dear to my childhood. The old sentiment that places seem so much smaller once you’re an adult did not hold true for me. Having not been there in at least a decade, I looked around the theater, its stage empty and I could hear the songs in my head. I realized most of my childhood memories of the place seemed the same, outside of its desertion due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I could smell the river water in my hair, the popcorn from a cardboard container, hear the murmuring of the crowd before the show started, and of course, the songs themselves. Soon, my parents parked behind me, honked the horn and pulled me from my path down memory lane and we met with big hugs. It was so peculiar to meet my parents there, having driven there myself, as an adult, for the purpose of being able to visit with each other safely during a global pandemic. While 2020 might be the most difficult year I have lived through, we can still control our mindsets. Seasons can live on in our minds through memories. Perhaps, this is a year to reflect on incredible memories of the past, just in time to make new memories next year. As summer turns to autumn, lets keep in mind our memories of autumns past. Pumpkin patches may not be able to open, Halloween parties certainly wouldn’t be safe, I sincerely doubt trick or treating will happen, and all the while, the world keeps turning. This is not to say we should not celebrate holidays and the changing of seasons, just modify regular festivities. Use the creative resilience we have been surviving through to make 2020 a memorable year, because of these happy memories. We have shown time and time again that we can come up with creative ways to celebrate, think all the way back to Easter, and the socially distant Easter egg hunts. Perhaps, this year, to celebrate autumn and Halloween, we should reflect on the incredible memories we’ve had the honor of making in the past. Take this season to rest and keep one another safe while enjoying the change of seasons from a distance and in our minds. Emily Rice is the Associate Editor of Prerogative magazine and the Lifestyles Editor of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. 52 Prerogative Magazine