About a week before everything changed, I was at an Al-Anon meeting and it had just wrapped up. I was chatting with someone when I heard a loud crash, ceramic breaking on a concrete floor. someone had moved my "to go mug" onto a chair and it had rolled off. It was double walled ceramic, pretty strong but not this time. It burst into a million tiny pieces. The woman who had moved it felt horrible and was so apologetic. I was kind of bummed but mostly I was at ease. Al-Anon is all about letting go - of control, of expectations, of attachments that don't serve us anymore. And I was at peace. I figured I'd get a new one at Target. But when I went to get one, they don't have it anymore. I thought maybe I'd order it online, but then the world shifted massively. Suddenly we were not going anywhere. I had no idea when it broke, what was ahead, just around the corner. And the thing is that the same woman who accidentally broke the mug had shared such a story of peace and surrender at the meeting. I was so grateful for that. The mug was the least of my worries.
We are ten weeks into this "sheltering in place" now. It occurred to me today that I never replaced the mug, but there really is no need for a "to go" mug when you are home all the time, making your own coffee and tea. Perhaps the thing I miss the most is walking to Acre in downtown Petaluma to get a perfect almond milk latte. I miss that. But I am also realizing that I am happy being mostly at home. I have learned to be resilient over the years. Often not by choice but by necessity. I do my own nails, I cut my kids hair, I even cut and color my hair! (most salons don't "get" curly hair) So I won't be out there waiving a sign saying "I need a haircut".
Mostly I'm sad that my youngest won't get to have the experience of the last few months of Waldorf Kindergarten, something we waited for years. He won't get to go back to that part of childhood. He'll be six this month on May 30 which means the current shelter in place order will be in effect. A part of me is ok with having a small celebration. But I know that he's growing so fast and if he even get's to go to school next year, it will be to 1st grade - "real" school. My older kids are missing their friends but overall, they kind of like being home. We all like staying up late and not getting up too early.
The things that make me truly happy, I can still do, especially on this sweet piece of land we have in the middle of the city:
Hanging laundry on the line - I have been doing this in good weather for almost three years. I love it. It could have been an fantasy that I didn't enjoy in reality, but instead, it feels like I'm grounded and in touch with a deeper part of myself. And I am - connecting to generations of women before me who did this. I am a descendant of pioneer women and Italian immigrants. There was a lot of laundry that was hung and it feels so good to honor that part of myself.
Riding my bike - I have had a cargo bike for over 10 years. I'm on my third version and I LOVE my current bike so much. It's perfect for me and I plan to have it forever. Riding on streets that have less cars is an amazing feeling and I can do 99% of my local errands on my bike. I feel like I need to step it up even more and say, I'll do as much as I can on my bike all summer long. It really is such an amazing feeling to be on a bike and I'm happy, even getting groceries! It's life changing.
Raising Chickens - We have six baby chicks, growing so fast. We fixed up a sweet little coop for them this weekend and soon they will move in. Sitting with them, watching them explore the world during their "outdoor time" is pure joy.
Planting Vegetables - I actually got an early start this year, because we're home all the time! And now we are getting late May rain and everything is growing so fast.
Working from Home - It's not easy working from home with the kids home, but as long as I can remember, I always imagined working from home so I could be there for my kids. I love my job and get to be of service to the community, all while working close to the heart of the house - our light filled kitchen. I'm here and that feels good even when I feel like an octopus with all eight legs being pulled in different directions.
This has been such a ride so far and no one knows when it will end or change or "go back to normal" but it feels like this cocooning is something special and I hope we can emerge from it more connected to what matters.
Sometimes I wonder if I was born in the right time... I long for a bygone era and yet I dream of a future that holds the best of technology mixed with the “old ways” that are so much gentler on us and the earth.