Thursday, April 29, 2021

Springtime in New Orleans and the New Normal 2021

Melinda Palacio 

Springtime in the second year of Covid and things are starting to look up. Although the world remains on edge what with anti-vaxxers, new strains of the Corona virus, and general selfishness of people who refuse to help curb the global pandemic. In the corner of the world where I live, things are thankfully better and in Santa Barbara and most of California, vaccines are readily available to anyone who wants one, a big difference from a few months ago when people were standing in long lines hoping to score a vaccine appointment. I’m happy that both places that I spend time in, Santa Barbara and New Orleans, are leading in the number of people vaccinated, a good sign for returning to life that isn’t so isolated. 

Another sign that we are inching back to real life was our drive back to New Orleans. The introvert in me has had enough solitude, even though I cherish my alone time. It also helps that President Biden gave the okay to gather outdoors with fellow vaccinated loved ones. He even gave the ok to walk outdoors without a mask, although there is still a mask mandate to be mindful of in New Orleans. I was pleasantly surprised by all the people walking around the city with masks on. You can still enjoy the scent of sweet olive and jasmine through a mask. The spring breeze and wind on your skin is something everyone tries to savor. It sure feels good to view life from outside a zoom screen. 

Earlier this week, I participated in my first in person yoga class in over a year. I’ve kept up my practice through online classes, but nothing can beat communing in person and sharing the discipline of yoga. Oddly enough, since the class took place in New Orleans, it was outdoors at a brewery. I was skeptical when I heard the classes were at the Port Orleans Brewery, but it was a private, outdoor, area. Now, I’m convinced all yoga classes should take place outdoors, especially when the weather is so nice. 

Yesterday, I ran into a friend at Starbucks and I’ve stopped counting the series of first post pandemic events; there have been so many in past two weeks: the first time sitting inside a coffee shop, the first time seeing a friend’s face, the first time eating inside a restaurant, the first time having a face-to-face conversation with a friend. I can get used to this real life business real fast. 

I spent poetry month missing all the in person events. After all, this is year two of virtual poetry month. Next month, I will take part in UC Irvine’s Radiante. The Inspiration and Travels of Transformative Latinx Dance and Poetry. May 20th. This is an event that I wish were in person because I love dance as an art form. However, I’m honored to share the virtual stage with Joel Valenti-Martinez. Join us at this special zoom event. 

Radiante: The Inspiration and Travels of Transformative Latinx Dance and Poetry

1 comment:

Mariana Titus said...

Thank you for this beautiful update - I love New Orleans in the spring too. The geraniums along Shoreline are heavenly!! Have fun.