Being an accounting of the recent and continuing pandemic and its various circumstances, from the perspective of an inhabitant of the regions lately called the Lost Quarter. Dates unknown.
Geese have begun to return to the Lost Quarter in the last days on their long journeys north. Their magnificent flocks in flight, like an arrow pointing the way forward, contrasts markedly with their abrasive honks. Some will stay in these parts, for the rivers and sloughs are open now, while others will continue to the northern ends of the Quarter, where winter still clings, though not for long.
It is a reminder, a happy one, that life indeed goes on, despite all that is happening. Each day brings news of the grippe reborn coming nearer as he grows bolder and bolder, coming fully into his old power. He cannot be turned aside. And yet we must continue with our lives, as best we can, for what else can we do. It does no good to cower, though the temptation of hopelessness is always there.
My love gives me hope in all things, from the moment I see her lying beside me when I awaken in the morning. In those moments, the darkness that still envelops us does not seem frightening. It feels like a warm embrace, something to cling to and hold tight.
I should say something of her now the opportunity presents itself. She is from eastern shores, a dominion of many islands, near where the grippe first evidenced his return. She came to the Lost Quarter some years ago via a little travelled road, as so many coming here do. The ways are little travelled, of course, because the ways to the Lost Quarter are forever changing and the paths do no always lead where they seem.
We chanced to meet over coffee one evening, sharing a stilted and awkward conversation that both of us, I’m sure, felt was going nowhere. Going nowhere in the Lost Quarter is a common enough occurrence though – I have often said that you have to leave to actually get somewhere – and we agreed to a walk about the town. It was a warm May evening and the streets were filled with people enjoying the season. We wandered among them, saying little, following no particular direction.
She told me of her travels in the greater world, and I told her of the places I had been. I did not tell her of how I had left and returned to the Lost Quarter and she did not tell me how she had come this way. A confidence of that sort is not to be shared lightly.
At the end of the night, in the growing twilight, we parted ways, promising to meet again. Both of us hesitated as we left, feeling there was something more to be said or to do, but unsure what that might be. In the end we said nothing, going our separate ways, slipping away into the darkness.