Monday, April 20th, 2020 – I Hope You Smile

By Lisa Walsh ANTIGONISH, CANADA


Happy 420 for those of you who indulged in the green medicine. 🌱
I am awake, the sun is shining, and the apartment has a different calmness about it than usual. I didn’t sleep well, I tossed and turned even though I fell asleep early.
Today is a day, a day of mourning, and for some celebrating. I can’t seem to find which one I feel in partaking in. Maybe I will just sit still and listen.
I feel the sadness of my own, but an even more profound sadness that does not belong to me, and I cannot seem to shake it.
I am Lisa, I am 31, 32 next month. I am from the middle of the woods, between two cornfields and rivers flowing on all sides. Today I am longing to go back there, to my home, anywhere but inside my head. Anywhere but this town, there are too many people, I need to where the only noises are those of the critters and chainsaws going.
Yesterday was a sad day for us from Nova Scotia, I shed tears for all the lives taken and the life of the shooter.I mourn for his victims, and I grieve for him.
How much isolation and trauma can one person take before they snap?
I’m not defending this man, but I’m also not condemning him either. I don’t know him, I don’t know what he has gone through or what made him snap. It’s not for me to judge. Everyone is capable of such evil and darkness. It’s how you handle it that matters. Unfortunately, this guy didn’t handle it well, and many lives were taken, and families are torn apart.


Let’s change the subject…Good news, let’s see…I woke up, I have food, a roof over my head, my fur kids are healthy and happy. ( they stole my bed before I could make it today ). I have a fiance who loves me, he stays away to keep me safe as an essential worker. It sucks being away from him, but he does it for my safety.
I have many friends and family and community members who keep me grounded and never let me go without .I am more blessed than most.
For the first time in 37 days, I left the comfort of my own home and went into a store. It was like a twilight zone.
I had my mask and my pockets loaded with hand sanitizer and wipes.I walk in and make sure to not touch anything that I don’t want and make sure not to get close to anyone. I look at the floor and follow the arrows, I feel like a child, are we playing games? Hopscotch, The floor is lava, the air is poisonous, and people are the virus.


“JUST BREATHE LISA,” I tell myself over and over again. My friend makes sure that I do not touch most things. She even loads all my stuff out of the cart onto the cash, where the guy scans her items, and she places them in the bag, and I go up to pay. I am so thankful for her, she is keeping me safe but also showing me her and everyone else’s reality while going to get essentials.


She is not lucky like I am. She doesn’t have friends that can run her errands, and she can watch the world chaos from her phone as I do.I now appreciate her and everyone else, even more than I have.
My eye is itchy, I reach up and touch my eyelid…Instant fear and a pit in my stomach, what have I done? Did I seriously just touch my eye after all of this. I try to calm my breathing, and we rush out the door, so I can slop some hand sanitizer to the top of my eyelid.
I feel stupid, how careless, this is why I don’t go out!I was so prepared, and minor itch could have got me infected. Next time, I’ll stay home.
I’ve gotten some orders for paintings, this makes me excited.It keeps my hands and mind busy, this is what I need in times like these. Idle hands and an overactive mind are never good for a recovering addict during a pandemic.
As I’m laying on the couch and proofreading what I am writing, I look at it all, sounds like a bunch of ramblings, maybe that’s what this is? Perhaps I am rambling. I am definitely not myself in many ways, but the only thing constant in this life is change.


Today I will enjoy the sun that is speaking through my windows.
Today I will smudge and keep everyone in my intentions.
Today I will appreciate everyone and everything for who they are and what it is. I can’t control anything other than how I react.
Today I will be the tree and let the wind make me sway but won’t let it break me.
Today I hope you do the same. I hope you smile,I hope you love,I hope you turn the music up and dance, I hope you create something beautiful in such trying times.
I hope at the very most, you aren’t too hard on yourself and remember it’s okay to not be okay. If you need me, I’m here, reach out.I’ll always listen.
Yesterday along with the mass shooting, we also had 2 new deaths, leaving the death toll at 5 from the nursing home and a total of 9 deaths in Nova Scotia related to COVID-19. We also have a total of 675 positive cases in Nova Scotia, and 200 cases considered recovered!


In Canada, we have a total of 35,056 people infected,11,843 recovered and 1,587 deaths in total.
Worldwide the numbers are 2,416,135 confirmed cases , 632,983 recovered and 165,939 deaths.These numbers are from Google and were updated 20 minutes before me writing this.
So if you are going to mourn, pray, smudge, set intentions or celebrate. Keep these numbers in mind, these people and their families and friends.
We are all one. This affects us all. Please stay kind, humble, and patient. We are all struggling and could all use some understanding. This isn’t over yet, but we can get through it together.
This is the invisible war.

Lisa Walsh, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.