In December, we asked people to share personal stories of their experience in 2020. Here’s what they had to say:
Waiting and Watching
By Eric Espinoza
At the beginning of the year, my azaleas were blooming and I was feeling pretty good about the new year. My partner and I had laid travel plans for the Canadian Maritimes. And I was looking forward to a trip I’d planned with my brother – a week in Arizona watching Cactus League spring baseball. In fact we had tickets for the Padres/Angels game, and a chance to see Joe Madden back with the Los Angeles Angels. Plus, we nabbed tickets for a John Fogerty concert – ”Put me in coach.”
Before long though, my azaleas lost their leaves. It seemed like the flowers of a promising spring were giving way to a dooming shadow, leaving me with gray feelings about the spring and summer I’d planned. I knew then that everything had changed and nothing was the same.
Not knowing where to turn, I turned inside. With the guidelines set forth by the CDC, we isolated, spending extra time in our yard and neighborhood. I learned to watch, wait and wonder, about all the constant changes in nature. I was drawn to Florida native plants and wildflowers. Through curbside pick ups, native plants soon found a home in my yard. A caterpillar slowly eating it’s way along a cassia flower, or it’s cousin, a monarch caterpillar enjoying a meal of milkweed, a cardinal couple chirping with delight over the seeds in our bird feeder or just following a cloud as it passed overhead – all of this and more was happening everyday, as I waited and watched in wonder.
Of course all sporting events, as well as most other things, had been canceled. The only reason I have cable TV is to watch sports, so imagine the lift I felt as sports returned throughout the summer. And boy did they return! First the Lightning lit up the NHL with a Stanley Cup and the Bucs were looking for a Super Bowl ring with newly acquired Tom Brady, the quarterback of quarterbacks. For me, the pinnacle of my excitement was following the Rays 60-game season. Winning didn’t come easy, but from Ji-man at first, Arozarena at the plate, to Morton on the mound, the low-payroll Rays found a way to win with a full-team effort. Then it was on to the post season. The Rays continued, putting way the Toronto Blue Jays in two games, the New York Yankees in five. Followed by a spirited, heart-throbbing seven-game win over the Houston Astros, and then on to the Dodgers and the World Series. Though a World Series win wasn’t meant to be, their performance was all I could have hoped. The magic of the Rays selfless teamwork gave me a reason to feel good about the future, and so I followed them, waiting and watching with wonder.
Not sure what to conclude, but let me try. Maybe it’s best if, at times, as life throws us uncertain curve balls, to wait, watch and wonder.