Soak in

I’ve been playing a game with my sister on the phone. First, we say what we would like to be doing, or what would have been at least feasible, say, last summer when the world was young. Invite Mom to join us for a small family gathering in Tiburon or Carmel by the Sea. (We’d been planning the reunion several months ago for her 90th in April 2020. Then it was moved to August 2020. Now it’s off the calendar.) We rather miss the get-togethers that happen at art nights or beach walks or summer barbecues. We say we’d be happy to have just one friend come over for dinner. Then we say, “But because of Covid....” and stop. It makes us laugh, like seeing a retriever in a “fetid pool, just standing there, not doing anything atall,” as Scottish sportscaster Andrew Cotter relates on a YouTube clip that’s gone viral. He’s taking his two retrievers Mabel and Olive for a walk in the woods, and now that he’s not at his day job of reporting on the Olympics, or BBC golf or tennis at Wimbledon, he’s been narrating his dogs’ most minor activities. Olive is about to wade in to join Mabel in the black, swampy pond. Mabel is staring at her owner, not moving in the pond, “just letting alllll the unpleasantness soak in.”
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