At eight o’clock in the evening, we can hear the distant roar of crowds, air horns, someone beating on a drum or a pan. We can see lights flashing on and off. I read in the Nextdoor Neighbor app that it is the nightly display to thank the essential workers. Three nights ago, I stood by my window, and I yelled, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!” I clapped as loud as I could. I was a single voice in my part of the city. At eight o’clock last night, my neighbors started flipping their lights on and off. Some of them yelled, and others cheered.

People made as much noise as possible. The nightly display has started to spread throughout the city. It has engulfed my neighborhood. When it gets close to the time to show my support, I open my window, and it never fails, I start to cry. The stress of the day and what we are living through hits me hard. People are dying. People are sick. We can’t go to the grocery store without fear. We can no longer shake hands, hug, or have coffee together. All the anxiety of the day washes over me, and there are tears.

It is my new ritual that brings the day to a close. It is my release, a cleansing, a sadness at the uncertainty, and all the fear. I’ll be at my window each night until the numbers go down instead of up, and the stay-at-home orders are unnecessary. I’ll be making noise for those on the front lines, and connecting with all of my heart.