Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

There are no hugs, but there are flowers. My days have been spent inside mostly. But when I’m out for my daily walk, I delight in seeing flowers in the park by my apartment. Some are wild, a rarity for New York. Others have been planted by the city, a vital sign of life before the coronavirus. In the last couple of days on these walks, I’ve been listening to an old antiwar song by Pete Seeger called “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” It’s about the cycle of life under war and how the only constant, the only thing we will always have to rely on, are flowers. It’s a terribly sad song, but it has brought me much comfort as we fight something of a war in my hometown. The song goes: “ Where have all the flowers gone? / Young girls have picked them, every one / Where have all the young girls gone? / They’ve gone to husbands, every one / Where have all the husbands gone? / They’ve gone for soldiers, every one / Where have all the husbands gone? / They’ve gone to graveyards, every one / Where have all the graveyards gone? / They’ve gone to flowers, every one. ” Last Friday, my friend Matt found himself in a situation many are in these days: The mother of a good friend passed away from complications of COVID-19, and though she lives close by, he couldn’t see her. There would be no drive or train ride to New Jersey from Matt’s home in downtown New York City to visit with his friend for shiva, the Jewish mourning ritual. He wouldn’t attend an in-person funeral, either. “How are people to memorialize when the options are Zoom-based funeral services and shivas?,” Matt pondered on our […]

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