DALLAS — For those of us fortunate enough to have jobs right now, our work lives are often divvied up into the tiny little Brady Bunch boxes of Zoom or FaceTime meetings where we only interact with our colleagues and friends from afar.
The social distancing, aided by technology, is intended to help keep the coronavirus at bay and the much talked about curve as flat as it can be.
But in the Dallas neighborhood of Lake Park Estates, at the aptly-named intersection of Galway and Tranquilla, Ann Sury and her chair offer a thrice-weekly peaceful diversion.
Thanks to the shutdown, she is an out-of-work yoga instructor. But she still has the park, Galway Circle, just across the street from her home. And all of her neighbors still have their chairs.
So in the middle of Galway Circle, chair yoga, with more than a half-dozen participants, now happens at least three days a week. With everyone properly socially distanced, of course
"And just let everything around you go away," Sury said of the Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evening sessions just before sunset. "And tune out everything else in the whole world. We need that right now more than anything."
"The dangers, COVID-19, you just, that goes away," neighbor Susi Himes said. "It goes away when you're doing yoga."
Fears that evaporate even more when a neighbor in an inflatable T-Rex suit shows up for the one-hour session, bringing smiles to people's faces.
"I'm doing good, how are you?" Kelly Hooper said from inside the costume. "Just trying to enjoy this coronavirus the best way we can," she said with a laugh.
"And you know, spread joy for everyone in the neighborhood," she said. "I will continue to do 'downward dino' yoga until this is over!"
Up and down Lake Park Estates, chalk is brightening up sidewalks and a few home-bound spirits, too. Adults and children are writing inspirational messages, publicly inviting neighbors to a newly-drawn hopscotch course and doing their best to cheer up the neighborhood.
"In a dreary time when everybody's kind of scared and hesitant to you know really have social connections, it's a good way to do it," a Galway Circle neighbor named Maria said as she sat and drew on the sidewalk in front of her home.
"The spring flowers, the trees, the grass, it's all just adding to the moment with friends here on the circle," added yoga participant Trish Gaffney.
Friends in a circle, living their lives at least six feet apart, but keeping their connections and spirits alive.
And as we finished our Galway Circle interview with Ann Sury, a neighborhood puppy, clearly excited by the sudden addition of so much human interaction, ran circles around Sury's chair.
"Hey pup.....ooh....oh....oh call the dog, call the dog," Sury laughed.
Downward dog, downward dino, whatever it takes until a normal in-person namaste is part of our lives again.
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