Reflecting on the first half of 2020 brings many thoughts to mind. It’s a year that has affected everyone.
Civilizations around the world all touched by Covid-19 have dealt differently with it, each in their own way. Even in other cultures, individuals have responded diversely to the impact. Recognize that I will only address the affects to me, and in no way mean that to minimize or marginalize anyone else’s experience. Personally, Covid-19 allowed me to slow down; no really, forced me to slow down. I considered myself to be a grateful person, yet this slower pace allowed me to recognize even more things to be grateful for. Regular Zoom meetings allowed me to stay connected with writing friends from Ireland, and the local writing group, now on-line connects more frequently. I’ve been able to establish some new patterns or routines in my life, resulting in more consistency in writing. A new children’s story awaits art work; a compilation of short stories (some new and some former writings) is coming together; there’s noticeable progress on the sequel to “Dream Glasses.” With this slower pace, I find after an initial writing, it’s easier to go back and review it with a more critical eye and make corrections. I recognize I’m more calm. Life feels less hectic, and more relaxing.
The question that plagues me is, what of these new patterns will I bring to my future when life returns to some semblance of normalcy?
Have you found aspects of these last few months you want to carry forward? Are you willing to share them?
…sits high above the road, with peaked ceilings and lots of windows that allow the sky to enter and be part of my daily life. That could mean blue skies with white clouds, or grey skies with dark angry clouds waiting to dump something on me. Some days it simply means living in a cloud with the ability to see very little. Cloudless nights are the best when the stars are sparkling against the navy background, appearing so close I think I can reach out to grab a couple just for me.
My house has been filled with unique aromas the last two weeks as I’ve allowed my creative side freedom to explore recipes from a Turkish cookbook a friend gave me before departing this valley I now call home. Distinct aromas and unique flavors from combinations of spices I’ve rarely used before. I never knew how much dill changes the flavor of beef; or tomatoes when skinned and deseeded, cooked with stock have a less acidic taste. These flavors are different and fun from how I normally cook—not strong or spicy hot, just different. We’ve found the food to be hearty and very filling. The cooking has been an adventure, but also exhausting. Most of the meals are labor intensive in their preparation. I now understand why the dishes are most often undertaken for company as a way to honor someone with a meal. So I can say, I’ve been honoring my husband, honoring us, honoring that we have each other to share this time with. I may have one more Turkish meal in me for this season, afterwards the book will go back on the shelf and I’ll return to meals and culinary delights we’ve enjoyed at different times or try something completely different.
I walk the switch back driveway down to the mailbox and last year’s dead grasses and the sage brush are still moist from last night’s snow. The fragrance of sage hits me and reminds me of first moving here eight years ago and the wonder I experienced the first time I opened the door and smelled sage. I was so surprised and then surprised I hadn’t expected this. Our property sits on hundred-year-old sage plants. How could I expect to be surrounded by this plant and yet not smell it? The pleasure of the aroma and memories of that naivety always bring a smile to face and are part of what makes me feel safe to be at home.
I savor the simple pleasures. It’s a way to keep the pandemic at arm’s length from me. To date, we personally know of no one who’s succumbed to the virus. A piece of me wonders how long that will be my truth, and I push those thoughts away. I’m aware each of us, collectively everyone, is being touched by this pandemic and the impacts will be long and far reaching. I push away the thoughts about how long it will be before we return to our normal activities.
I push away…
During this time of “Sheltering In-Place,” I’m part of a writing group. The group is writing about this time, fears, feelings, concerns. Different prompts and readings are used to generate inspiration. Sometimes I’m surprised at what surfaces. None of us in the group have experienced a time such as this. I’ll be sharing some of my writings generated from the group. You'll find them under the menu option, Writing Categories and then Pandemic. Feel free to leave your comments or write you own thoughts.