It feels like we may have reached the homestretch of the pandemic at last, although a mindfulness and maturity regarding the delta variants and those yet to come are certainly needed as we emerge into our new world and adjust to the ways we’ve changed. Last week we prepared for our first guest since lockdown began in late February, 2020. We were excited to see her, a dear friend of many years, and to hear new stories and breathe new energy. Our efforts to finish up more of the painting and renewal of our living spaces went into higher gear (not that our friend would mind a ladder and paint can in the living room). So, we’re on the homestretch of that journey as well. There are many finishing bits and coats of paint to be added, but, for the most part, these rooms are finished. On to the beds and baths as the budget and time allows. It’s been interesting to see how the pandemic affected our choices for color and detail in our home…we seem to have subtracted a lot of dark color and chosen soft whites and neutrals that have made our home feel quieter and lighter…maybe “eclectic Shaker?” Very peaceful. A bit playful. Safe and happy.
And what a lovely visit we enjoyed with our friend, sitting with wine, fireflies, firelight, and starlight, and sharing long conversations about our lives and the world and the meanings we’ve derived from the time of lockdown. Our time together was blessed with tears, laughter, deep joy, gratitude, and a sense of amazement, looking back at the road we’ve traveled and the wonder of the journey, a tentative gentle unraveling of this strange time’s losses and gifts before it’s all rewoven into memory. We sat on the deck, offering our stories to each other while the music and fireworks from the county fair drifted towards us across the river, the music of humans gathering in celebration, making meaning and stories together again.
One day, my friend and I went treasure-hunting, a common pursuit we share when we’re together. We both wore our masks and carried hand gel, but enthusiastically joined strangers and entered the hunt for delights. I found a large, never-used birdfeeder and garden shears; my friend found an old, classic electric mixer in pristine shape, and a chainsaw for her husband. We came home with our booty and Mexican carry-out, and more stories to share with Phillip…it was like old times, but shinier, as though we’d all been reborn. In a way, I suppose, we had. Gratitude, again; it’s always been important to us, but never fizzed through and leavened our moments quite like its ever-present merriment is sparkling now.
And the gardens, despite our continued drought, are blessing us with their bounty, too. Berries, vegetables, herbs…To relax with a book and a bowl of treats we’ve grown feels like every good thing has come to roost at Full Moon Cottage, and only blessing could be right around the corner. I know life doesn’t work that way, but right now, for this brief brilliant time, hope is our guest as well, and I welcome and embrace it.
The 4-leggeds have seemed calmer these days, too, especially as our friend’s stay continued. We celebrated Teagan’s 4th birthday this past week, and Murphy was finally enticed to use the new cat condo. I have nepeta/catmint growing all over the gardens, so I cut some leaves and scattered them on the ledges of the condo, which is now his favorite perch. I don’t think Fiona will budge from her window seat, but Murphy is open to change and new adventures. I expect that’s how it will be for many people following the pandemic as well. Some will be willing to co-create the changes we need to save the Earth and reshape our interactions and values regarding power and justice; others will continue to resist. I hope we’re at a tipping point in favor of the Earth and all life.
The time of pandemic lifted us into a time of floating and the constant music of questions; we were as airborne as the virus, drifting into unknown places and patterns, unable to touch down, or to hold answers with certainty. For us, it was a time of great creativity, but also fear, anxiety, and soul-paring exhaustion. As our friend drove away on her long journey home, I felt as though our lives had resettled; we can feel the ground beneath our lives again. We can begin to reorient and move forward.
May we truly have reached the homestretch, open to the deep learning given to us in this time of mystery, and may we pursue the actions to which we are necessarily called to nurture changes and growth in ourselves and for the Earth.
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