What day of shelter-at-home is this? I have totally lost count….. Gov. Inslee gave his executive order for Washington residents to “Stay Home – Stay Healthy” on March 23, but this household began our social distancing on March 3. So, it is day 52 for us.
What an odyssey this coronavirus pandemic has been. Being a rather introverted person, I’m handling the quiet time better than some; but even so, I am missing teatime and conversation with my friends, and deeply missing the normal gatherings to celebrate special days. I had expected to do a great deal of reading during this shut-in time, I certainly have a lovely stack of books waiting, but I’ve found it hard to settle, to quiet my mind. Instead I’ve filled these days with sewing masks, garden tending, creative pursuits of many kinds (mostly edible), and a few business chores that have been calling for some time. And I have spent a great deal of time in the woods and fields.
When this crisis began I knew it would be important for me to get myself outside every day, if even for the shortest of walks or a few minutes in the garden. When the noise of this world steals my peace and concentration, I head outside and always have. By pond or sea, in the forest, or in the garden is where I center myself. There are days when nothing else will do, and if I don’t go outside, I will simply wander aimlessly inside, stare out the windows, and accomplish absolutely nothing.
I have a few favorite spots in our woods, but there is one place I often head to when I need to pull the threads of my ragged self, back together. Just off a path, behind a shield of huckleberry and fern, is a moss covered downed tree where I love to sit and just be. There, I close my eyes, breathe in the fragrance of the forest, and listen to the small woodland creatures just carrying on around me. I find it comforting to know they are unaware of the chaos in the human realm. They are simply getting on with living as best they can, using what is available, and little more. It is always such a good reminder to try to do the same; keep it simple, take it moment by moment, and enjoy every gift, no matter how small.
Before I leave my hideaway, I often tuck a shiny penny into the moss covering my woodland seat, a little present for the fairy folk. If the fairies don’t find the pennies, perhaps a child will find them one day and wonder if a fairy left them. The thought always makes me smile.