Tag Archives: pandemic

YOU are Essential

Where are the blankets to put over the plants?

The text from my husband comes as I am out on a necessary errand. I respond in usual generalities, grateful for his awareness of impending cold temperatures, care of our plants, and willingness to search for the blankets.

Spring brings beautiful sunny days and unexpected chills.

This spring has brought even more unexpected beauty (time to notice the brilliant blooms) and chill (facing COVID-19) as we continue to navigate, slow down, and step into new rhythms and routines. My planner tells me we are in week 5 of sheltering in place, but within that time there have been so many changes.

I have only recently begun to settle in.

Settling in looks like consistently working from the home office, going into the studio on Saturdays. It is the kids getting used to the white noise machine running outside the home office door and knowing I am on a call and not to interrupt. It is interruptions at all other times.

It is fielding questions and needs from each child at home and then when I think I have heard from everyone and can hunker down to work, responding to, Dewey is out of the gate! by flying down the steps and out the side door, because someone has left the yard gate open and Dewey is happily scampering out of bounds freely.

It’s flexibility amidst uncertainty and continuing to do the next thing before me while not knowing when this will end and things will change and how they will look when all is said and done.

How are YOU doing?

Last night I watched a webinar on Compassion Fatigue put on by my sister, Sharon Hicks, MA, LPC, of Kintsukuroi Counseling. The act of creating space to tend to my own heart in the midst of this season brought on copious tears. As I made time to slow down and have someone help me hold space without having to solve or fix anything, I was able to name personal grief and losses.

It felt kind to sit in a space of self-care.

What does this season look like for you? Where do you feel the chill of spring’s freeze and need a blanket brought to cover your tender new growth? How are you caring for yourself during this time? How are you caring for others? Where do you need support?

Don’t walk alone. Don’t hold all of the things for everyone else. Take time for yourself, as well. . . to tend, to think, to create, to breathe.

It is essential.

YOU are essential!

Zephyr Sketch

I want to be more like Zephyr who curls up in a ball wherever she pleases. Waits patiently by the door to be let out. Speaks up when she is hungry or thirsty. Trusts that her needs will be met.

Zephyr lives in the now. When she is tired, she rests. When she is thirsty she drinks. When she wants to stir things up, she trolls through the house in search of the other animals who share the space.

Zephyr doesn’t ask, she tells. She lets you know exactly what is what in no uncertain terms. Then she curls up again and claims her current space. All of the spaces are hers. She just lets us borrow them.

I want to claim my space in the midst of the many unknowns. To Zephyr the unknown is why all of the humans are now constantly invading her territory. She is having to make adjustments. Work around us.

We are all having to adjust to unknowns. Work around things. Find our new spaces.

This adjusting is difficult. None of us is where we were a week ago. We don’t know what it will look like a week from now. We have only now. I am tired.

There is such a thing as being in seclusion with too many options, too many choices, too much crowding, too many voices. I use Zephyr’s strategy and curl up to rest, rise up to drink some water, and then reengage in a new space.

Refreshed, I stretch and settle in for a little more work before calling this day and moving on to the next part which is the evening.

Out of Sorts

Even daddy duck is out of sorts.

Opening the back door to summon Dewey after his wake up nature call, I heard incessant barking. Unusual for the early-morning hour, especially since the college students are gone and the street quiet, I ventured from my perch on the back stoop and out into the backyard.

Dewey! Come in!

He stood at the fence, pulled up by front paws, barking and kicking his back legs, not the least bit interested in bounding back inside for his breakfast. Unusual. Most unusual.

What’s up, Dog?

My gaze followed his, as a strange sound reached my ears.

There in the middle of our neighbors’ yard was a duck quacking and waddling around. His befuddled wandering in circles mirrored the feeling I have inside these days.

Which way do I go?

With so many virtual options, alternatives, and ideas springing up, I am just trying to orient myself to the new reality of my present-day surroundings. Capacity for clear direction feels muddled. I am as perplexed as a duck wandering an unfamiliar, albeit friendly, backyard being terrorized by a terrier on the other side of the fence.

Come on in, Dewey! Let’s give our visitor some space.

Bounding towards me and scampering inside, Dewey attacked his food dish with gusto. He knows what matters.

I haven’t followed up to see if there is a nest in the neighbors’ yard or if they saw their morning wandering visitor. We are all in this weird space where spring calls us from hibernation, yet social distancing dictates it.

If you read this Melody or Tina, let me know if you have a duck nest in the comments. And also if you need any toilet paper or microwave popcorn, because we have plenty of both to share.

While Waiting

It’s the beginning of the unknown. My children are home, a choice not my own, and yet I have desired that they be gathered, circled around for just a bit longer. Here they are.

We don’t have answers; don’t know the future. We only have now. This present moment.

They sleep until 9, giving me time for coffee and quiet and yoga, trusting what is to come.

I don’t have to strive for what isn’t.

Learning in small ways how to support with technology and how to love more fully in the midst of the storm. I am fed with food for this day, slowing down after years on hyper-speed.

Not wishing on anyone the circumstances we are trying to prevent.

While waiting.

Prayer for Pandemic

Jesus,

You have us.
All of us.
You hold us in your arms.
For our good.
And your glory.
You will be glorified.

What is in front of us?
What can we do
Today
for justice,
mercy,
humility.
How do we show love?
Share from abundance?
Of even from need?

Grant wisdom.

You say if we lack we can
Ask
And you will
Give.

I lack.
I ask.
Show me.

Make clear the steps forward,
the way to go.
Or stay.

Step by step.

Day by day.

This is bigger than all of us and in your capable hands.

Help love to chase down and cast out the fear.

Grant to us peace in the waiting and rest to us in the unknown.