Signs of Health

The weather this week was not as bad as I feared, so we were able to take some nice walks around town and spend a lot of our afternoons out in the back yard 1. Our normal route by the river is very crowded at the moment, and trying to keep distance from people is next to impossible 2, so yesterday we opted to head away from the river instead.

It was a wonderful time, and we were able to stop at a friend’s house and do a “social distance visit 3.” In ordinary times, it’s where Bump spends his days while my wife and I are working, so he was ecstatic to see the other kids. Their family had been busy coloring the sidewalk with helpful advice 4 and encouraging messages. I was so happy I remembered to put my wide-angle lens on my camera!

After we chatted for a bit we began our walk home, altering our path any time we found someone on the path in front of us 5. When we were a few blocks from home I noticed something which I found remarkable. Palmyra has a train tracks which run down our main drag 6. On the one side of the tracks a nice promenade runs through part of the town, which is a lovely feature I’d love to see us utilize more. As we came towards Broad Street I noticed what I guess was a father and daughter duo, kneeling on the walkway. It was then I saw the pieces of sidewalk chalk in their hands and, fascinated, I diverted my walk to see what they were drawing 7. I didn’t want to force these folks to move back from me, so I couldn’t get as close as I would have liked to the drawing to take my photos 8, but what I saw gave me great joy. It was one word, in huge letters, “Breathe.”

Father-Daughter Partners, spreading joy
Just, Breathe.

I thanked the pair and rejoined my family to finish our walk. And after we’d arrived at home I noticed the partners coming down our street, stopping on occasion to draw some encouragement on the sidewalk. This his how they were spending the beautiful afternoon–blessing others with hope and compassion.

It was a beautiful thing. A sign of health.

For the rest of my images from the walk, see my SmugMug Gallery.


  1. Bump loves running. 
  2. Bump and I walked one block along the road, but bailed when we looked at the more narrow part of the street and saw a mass of people. 
  3. Six feet apart, Bump couldn’t get out to play with the kids. 
  4. Wash your hands! 
  5. It is an odd thing to feel the need to treat other walkers like potential bio-hazards. 
  6. It splits broad street, which is an interesting quirk of the town, but it also reduces the scope of our downtown area, which is a bit of a bummer. 
  7. Always being mindful of my physical distance from folks. 
  8. I may go back today if the rain holds off some.