Oh dear friends, I hope you are well! Our reality has been shattered over the course of the past month. A reality that so many of us had been living as if drifting through a dream. Glued to smart phones, taking simple liberties for granted. Now in the face of a pandemic, what really matters has come into focus. Food, shelter, loved ones, nature. Yes, nature. Finally, she has been given a chance to take some deep and healthful breaths.
Today, I’m sitting with the sun on my back. Pangur and Henry are curled up with me while we peek out through potted plant friends at the blue jays who have been curiously pecking at the seed in the gardens. A tray of recently planted tomatoes, flowers and herbs are stretching toward the sun. The chimes are gently singing. The sound of distant trucks and airplanes strikingly absent.
How have you been during this crisis? The first couple of weeks I felt like I was living in a state of emergency. Bewitched by making as much food as possible. The apocalypse upon us! I was glued to reading the news and worrying incessantly. Worrying about older populations, health workers, grocery store clerks. What would come next? Somehow, I’ve always anticipated something big happening in our lifetime (never imagining this) – I’ve always felt an urgency to grow our own food, make our own clothes, find simple entertainment. This instinct to me was always bigger than just to lower our impact on the planet and connect with our ancestors – it was also rooted in the possibility of societal collapse. A sense that we shouldn’t rely on the system to provide everything for us. Here we are… friends, I don’t mean to scare you. I do trust that everyone in this time will be helped if they need it – whether it’s from the government, neighbours or community groups – but I do consider it a major wake up call that we need to take more of our lives back.
How have I been going about? Well… food preparation has been my main focus during our quarantine. We have eating better than ever before. Every couple of days, I devote the entire day to making breads and various bean dishes. Baked beans, Refried beans, Bean burger patties and my absolute favourite, a ton of homemade hummus. I have been so energized from our diet as well as soaking up as much sun as I possibly can, ignoring anti-aging rules and just feeling drunk from the golden disc. How is it that during this time, I’m feeling more alive, healthier and hopeful for the future? I’m excited about such simple things like the homemade pizza on the horizon and the pumpkin seeds tucked away in a rickety drawer.
And then there is drawing, art, quilting, reading, watching new shows. I’ve been reading more books than I have in the past couple of years. This is like coming home to me! To be wrapped in a book, sitting with an animal. Reading is such an enriching way to spend your time. I recently finished a couple of books and have been living in “Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides. I piled all of the books that we possess and that I’ve never read. There are many. Seeing the pile makes me so excited and I sit among them deciding… who’s next? I am actually unable to balance being stuck in my smartphone with reading books, so lately my phone has been used just to talk to my family and friends, otherwise cast aside for the sake of paper, typeset and my imagination. Something so foreign now to our new world order.
My knitting has been interesting lately. I’m making 2 sweaters, so many socks and mittens. The shop is currently shut down of all physical items in order to maintain the social distancing order as well as avoid any lost packages due to the covid-19 outbreak (I mean.. we have had lost packages when everything was business as usual so I foresaw just avoiding post system all together at this time). This is really giving me the time to experiment. Take things out and start again. Knitting with 0 pressure is so wonderful! And once our world has reconfigured itself into post Covid-19, there will be many woolen goodies to set out on their journeys 😊
In addition to knitting and reading, I have been taking so much joy in drawing. Drawing is one of my first loves. I looked at pictures before I could read and hence, drew since I was probably 2. Its always been an escape for me – something that really engages those parts of my brain that so badly need to be activated. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to feeling true meditative states. My favourite subject matter is our natural world. Something that I can observe in our environment and get lost in the details and wonder of this universe. This recent drawing is an expansive violet stretching out into the night sky with the moon phases beneath in her roots. Moths flank the moons. Next, I want to just do a few studies of some of the crystals and pinecones that stand on our window sills. These subjects allow me to zone out, get lost in some music and observe the mystery and wonder of our natural world.
Currently on Prince Edward Island, we are aware of 22 cases, 8 of which are considered recovered. The province is shut down but for essential services and we can still walk in the forests as long as we maintain social distancing. I’m feeling so grateful at present to have this little plot of land out in the countryside on this island. Last night, we drove to the Northumberland Strait to watch the full moon rise. It was so beautiful. Clouds only floated to the south horizon. The moon rose like a ghost above the cold blue water. I made a thermos of Turmeric milk for Jamie and I. For the whole hour, I completely forgot about what’s happening in our world. Just enamored with the beauty of our planet and skies. Counting my lucky stars that we are still able to sit freely with the sun setting on our backs.
Thank you so much for checking in here in our little isolated corner. I really hope everyone is doing well in these difficult times. Please, take care of your mental health – take Omega’s, if you can, go for a walk and try something other than being totally immersed in social media and the news. A puzzle, colouring, a book, an old movie, seriously anything. Just like the earth is taking a deep breath and healing right now, we can too if we choose to give our minds a break. Create, make food, call a loved one!
Love & Light
A place to sit, knit and read (The 2 plants beside Hugo are the blue echevaria and a Gollum’s Finger Jade – grown from a single leaf)