“Hmm…” was the clue for 6-Across in a recent L.A. Times Sunday crossword puzzle. 6-Across had seven squares, so I filled in “IWONDER.” Which sent me down a rabbit hole of several things I’ve been wondering about lately, in this time of pandemic and quarantine.

I wonder if the companies that make the brass fittings for coffins are now considered “essential businesses.”

Will face masks become the next fashion accessory? And how will deaf people “hear” if they can’t lip-read?

Have I ever before felt such waves of gratitude for the checkout clerks, the local organic farmers, the team that collects my trash at 6:30 every Wednesday morning? Do I promise now never to forget how much I love them?

Are the underwater creatures in the Pacific Ocean aware of the human chaos on the land? Would they like to help us if they could?

I wonder if Zoom will replace all committee meetings, blind dates, and family reunions from now on?

Are the hummingbirds that peer in the kitchen window impressed by how carefully we’re sanitizing our surfaces and our foods?

How many of the dozens of breathtaking daily headlines will end up being just statistical footnotes by next year?

I wonder about journalists’ duty as historians – and I’m thinking about true journalism vs social media. Journalists have a duty to discover and collect the details, to fact check and record the news accurately and clearly. But I wonder: does that professional duty extend to actually publishing and airing all those details, especially every incendiary, ill-advised political rant or armed-mob chant?

I think often about medical triage, about the painful ethical decisions coming in such overwhelming numbers for healthcare workers that each choice can’t possibly be given the thoughtful consideration it needs. Will these decisions haunt medical staff for the rest of their lives? How long a life are our front-line caregivers likely to have, given their repeated exposure to the menace of coronavirus?

And how is it possible that spring is happening despite the headlines? How can it be joyfully bursting forth from the soil of the tulip fields in the Skagit Valley, from the tips of maple branches, from the nests of finches, from window boxes and roadside ditches – how can that possibly be?

So these days I occupy my brain with these little wonderings, because my mind just can’t comprehend the huge reality of this new worldwide plague, and of a madman presiding over 55,000 Americans dead of Covid-19 in the past three months.

By the way, the correct answer to the “Hmm…” crossword puzzle clue was “LETSSEE.” Let’s see, indeed, what the rest of 2020 holds for us.

I wonder . . .

May you be well through all of this trying year.

14 replies
  1. christina
    christina says:

    Hmmm, also the sound of bees, so I have been wondering what Leo would be saying to you and me this spring. he’d be aiming toward 100 this July, probably wondering if anyone would be able to travel to that celebration. I’d only want him here if he was able to be himself, puttering around his Langley condo and taking you out for dinner. But I miss himmmmmm. love, CB

    • Cynthia Trenshaw
      Cynthia Trenshaw says:

      I think about Leo every day. I’m certain he would share the wisdom of a different perspective that neither you nor I had considered. Maybe he had developed multi-faceted eyes from hanging around with his apian friends!

  2. David Daniel Klipper
    David Daniel Klipper says:

    Thank you. I truly hope that there will be a permanent positive change in how we see and relate to one another as a result of this pandemic, which is likely to go on much longer than people currently expect, and have a higher death toll than people currently expect as well. Hopefully we will become ever more skillful at distinguishing the important from the sensational as reality overpowers the alternate universe being promulgated by many of those in power, especially in Washington.
    I wonder many of the same things as you. For those of us like me who are old enough that catching this disease is a non-trivial matter and carries with it a high enough possibility of a fatal outcome, will our heightened awareness of the possibility of our own deaths help us live more fully and completely? I hope so.
    By the way, I bought your poetry book after a discussion with Ted Falcon, and sent you an email telling you how much I enjoyed it. Did you ever receive that email?

    • Cynthia Trenshaw
      Cynthia Trenshaw says:

      Yes, Daniel, I did receive your generous email, and I responded to it on 2/11.

      Thanks for reading my blog posts!

  3. Mary M Nausadis
    Mary M Nausadis says:

    Good morning Cynthia,

    And I wonder who I will be as I enter the new world when the doors are flung open…..I wonder how many fantastic “God” stories I will have to tell….how God appeared lookiing exactly like my daughter or exactly like the man at the grocery store whom I greeted through our masks in passing or as our puppy Fred who cannot contain his joy when he sees me……….God is evident in so many guises, if we but clean our lenses.

    I loved this Cythia….thank you for wondering!

    I’m wondering how Dominic and Catherine would have lived through this….how would Jesus meet and reach out to his disciples…..all very thought-provoking, indeed.

    I pray you stay healthy in mind and body,
    Mary Nausadis -Associate

  4. Erica Eden
    Erica Eden says:

    I have been looking around wondering what will not ever be the same after covid-19?
    Will I ever be able to get out of the hand sanitizing habit? Wearing a mask? Social distancing? There’s so much time used to be safe. Let’s see…
    Thank you for your wonderings.
    Be safe.

  5. Chris Belding
    Chris Belding says:

    So, does that mean you are wonder-full? Well, fine, but I knew that already. I especially related to your comment about masks since I am hearing impaired. It has become very clear to me how much I rely on lip reading now that so many have their mouths covered. Thank you, as always, for your thoughtful posts which often tickle my fancy and get me wonder-ing. Love to you and all your readers.

    • Cynthia Trenshaw
      Cynthia Trenshaw says:

      Smile. May we all always be wonder-full. Sometimes I think that’s the whole point of this human incarnation!


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