Last night, a theater company zoomed a Hanukkah play written by a woman I met in a zoomed playwrights’ group. My friend Kathy spends her evenings taping the alto parts of Christmas anthems. My husband’s coffee group zooms. We see the grandchildren once a week running around in their backyard or sitting at their art table, or practicing reading and singing. This morning, I drove to town. Stopped a minute for two runners on opposite sides of the road. (Something that used to irritate me.) Masked women, still running together. I went to Old People’s Hour at the food coöp: silent shoppers, all those kids stocking shelves. I listened to my Christmas playlist on the drive home: Revels, Paul Winter, the Polish carols from my Warsaw cousins. All jolly till “Lulajże Jezuniu,” a lullaby the homesick Chopin quoted in Scherzo No. 1. I had to pull over to cry. We’re so sad. And so brave. Yesterday my new friend Sherry told me she saw a single blade of grass rising up through a cow pat in a field. Not a poetic image like, say, a young oak sprouting in leaf mould. But still. Can you think of a better metaphor? Perhaps something even less polite. They spread manure on fields. Cowshit gets on your boots. Whatever you call it, it’s full of seeds. It’s food for seeds. For seeds.