If this were any other year, right now I’d be sitting at my desk in the editorial office on the corner of Center and Bradford streets writing about my expectations for the coming season. Today is the day our first issue—a sure sign of spring in Provincetown, as many a reader has told me—would have been delivered around town. It would have probably covered Earth Day, the annual Moby-Dick Marathon at the library, the work of a local artist, or a story about local history and legend to get us started off for the year.
But this is not any other year, and I don’t know what to expect for the coming season, except that Provincetown Magazine will be a part of that season, no matter what it looks like.
I, like all of you I’m sure, have had plans disrupted, friends sick with the COVID19 virus, panic attacks upon entering the supermarket, and days where I could not seem to get anything done, despite suddenly having more free time at home than I can ever remember having. But I have also seen new things. Mostly these are things that aren’t new themselves, but which I am seeing in a new way as we bide our time and get through this quarantine.
I’ve always been grateful to live on Cape Cod amongst great beauty and unique people, but I’m noticing now that I can’t have a good day if I don’t see or hear the ocean. I’m noticing the great community we have, whether it’s somebody anonymously donating $5,000 to pay for townie groceries at Stop N Shop or it’s the incredible responses that spontaneously populate Facebook posts when someone says they are down or in need or suffering in some way. Likewise, I’ve found myself talking, video-chatting, and texting with my network of amazing friends, family, and colleagues as we sort through our lives in the time of coronavirus.
I’m a single parent, so my children are home with me pretty much 24/7 now. It’s not always pretty, and I am concerned about the quality of their education in this compromised, remote learning situation no one had any time to prepare for. But, I’ve also spent so much more time talking with my 9-year-old son as we go on daily walks at the beach or in the woods, and I’ve seen my 16-year-old daughter develop her already formidable skills as an artist and a student and also find new ways of connecting with her peers—even sending letters to each other by “snail mail!”
I know I will be back at my desk in Provincetown, just as I know all of you will be back to doing the things you do. We are following closely Governor Baker’s guidance and watching the figures given by the public health authorities, and we will open as soon as it is safe and responsible to do so. In the mean time, you can come to our website, where we will have limited new content to complement the archive of stories here you may want to revisit. You can also feel free to contact me with submissions, such as short stories, poetry, and photographs. Even though I’m not actually back at work, I will look for those submissions and pass them on to our webmaster to share with the community as much as possible.
This is the time in our lives where we are most likely to grapple with the uncertainty, instability, and groundlessness that actually always existed, but which we were able to cover with our belief that we could control everything. It’s uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful, but if we can use this experience to learn ways of managing uncertainty and instability, we will emerge stronger, more compassionate people, and that is indeed an opportunity.
We will not only survive this together as a community. We will thrive again as a community.
Enjoy! (as best you can)
-Rebecca, Editor. [email protected]