I knew the pandemic was nearly over because my local bakery in Boston, in Seaport called Flour, finally opened its doors fully after a year and several months of operating at 10 per cent. I can recall the early pandemic days when none of us were quite used to the world that was about to hit us. Numbers were pitching badly, the pandemic was crippling everything from restaurants, bars, schools, flights, trains…everything closed…..and somehow Flour had limped through. As had we.
I used to go there pretty much every week at least twice. Orders had to be made online, sandwiches and stuff left in between the glass doors, no contact, just a wave to familiar faces that worked there. And then slowly it became easier. Not perfect, but accessible. Still nothing inside but a few more people and some lovely conversations with the always lovely staff there. And then it happened. There was a crowd. A queue and it was busy, and I had to wait a little longer and there were people hanging inside and eating outside and then I realized, that the weathervane had changed.
The pandemic was moving on. People in the streets, at ball games, less masks and smiles you could see again. And then I knew we would be back traveling soon. So, maybe not the French café in my favorite neighborhood by the office on the Rue Cherche Midi, maybe not my hangout in London in Soho or the Piazza Della Rotunda by the Pantheon in Rome. Not yet, but getting there.
Imagining a world less remote, less tied to zoom. The sounds of flights overhead filling the sky a little more each day. I can feel the pull of travel as countries start to open shop . Travel is what we do. What we all need to do. Out of the backyard and into the neighbor’s yard. A jump once more into another place.
And there was Flour. Busy and bustling and looking half normal.
I loved my sandwich today! Always have, but today felt super good.