Travel responsibly and sustainably

The Windless Storm, or Words on a Pandemic

The Islands seen from a window

Quarantine has emptied my calendar the way beers (used to) disappear on Friday's happy hours. I don't know what day it is anymore. Time feels like my PJs - stretchy and unstructured.

Still, we adapted quite quickly. I supposed that life among the storms gave us some form of advantage. The exception being that this one is going to last a little bit longer.

On the quiet road to my house, these days, I count more humans than pickup trucks. They walk alone, or pushing a stroller, or along with their dog, or both. Others go in pairs, keeping their distance, sometimes on each side of the road. You can tell that these aren't quarantining together.

The day they announced the borders were closing.

- How do you feel about that?
- Meh. Where were you hoping to go anyway.
- Don't you feel... trapped?
- Trapped on the good side.

On the side of those we love.

Looking at the calendar, it's been three weeks of not seeing anyone and limiting our outings to the bare essentials. Yesterday, I took a shower, tweezed my eyebrows and put on some perfume.

- And where do you think you're going?
- Grocery shopping.
After washing my hands at the door, I stepped inside, where many were shopping for many households at a time, one list for grandma, one for grandpa, three weeks' worth of supplies. This is normally where we linger and catch up with each other, chatting over each other's cart. The only chatter we hear now is the squeaking of the carts' wheels needing a tune-up. People stay silent, staring at their lists.

- It's like we don't like each other anymore!

Someone laughed, breaking the spell. We smiled, together at last. Two metres apart.

In the flour, sugar and raisins aisle, someone wrote « out of stock » in marker above the empty shelf where the yeast should be. My dreams of cinnamon buns will have to wait.


Comfort food in the time of the pandemic. Recipes jump out of childhood memories to make it on the menu: barley soup, clam chowder, grasshopper pie and egg marmalade.

And from time to time, slipping into a pair of jeans, out of curiosity.

Daily pockets of joy

On my Facebook feed, every day, here's Georges Langford's poetry and here's the music from the many artists going live from their living room, their kitchen, their pickup truck.

And there's Hop-o'-My-Thumb, painting rocks with kind words and sprinkling them around La Grave to let us know that we are going to be okay.

I thought I could spend the pandemic writing a novel or redoing my bathroom. Pfff... all things considered, I barely have enough energy to work a little and declutter my own thoughts. At the end of the day, when the wind slows down to catch its breath, I put on my boots and head out. And at the end of the unpaved road, the sea. Again and always, true to herself, comforting and absolute.


A rainbow on the clothesline


Par Suzanne Richard

Suzanne Richard is an author, a speaker and a musician. She published a collection of short stories entitled La mer, trois kilomètres à gauche. Her conference — Les mots et la mer — is about maritime words and expressions commonly used in the French language.

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