Today (written on Sunday, March 22) is Day 7 in my count of sheltering-in-place. You may have gotten a head start on me as I didn’t begin until last Sunday night.

But I’m following the rules, going out for occasional groceries and attending a socially-distanced picnic in Fort Tryon Park with my friends and neighbors in Inwood. I brought along my metal tape measure, mostly as a joke, but noted that we were actually 6′ apart as we sat in a sunny spot on the grass near the Cloisters. We didn’t embrace each other in greeting or share food, but being face-to-face with this young couple lifted my spirits immensely.

I spotted this chalk marking during my walk this afternoon:

Blessedly, my fellowship has gravitated to zoom meetings with close to 100 people on the screen during each call. I feel more connected than ever, almost to the point of overload. On the first couple of days using video rooms I went to 2-3 meetings a day, mostly to see my friends and fellows. I am at two per day now, but can see going down to one soon. I’m getting my fill by using other resources I’ve got here at home.

My major grounding activities are cooking whole foods–soups, salads, simple plates–and using my hands creatively. I completed a penny rug pillow cover – a technique I learned in a workshop with Liz Alpert Fay just before the quarantines were announced, and also blocked a wool scarf I’d been knitting for a few months now.

I hope that you’re noticing what is unwritten as well. My bathroom tiles are not clean. My bed has remained mostly unmade, and I need to do laundry. Each of us is approaching this time in our own unique way. Blessings to each of you for doing whatever serves you right now. I am no one to judge. I want to offer what is keeping me sane, engaged and motivated during this critical time. I have friends who are sewing masks which I greatly admire. Whatever is helpful to you and doesn’t detract from anyone else’s space is a good thing.

The greatest gift from this time, so far, has been a family game time online with my children, grandchildren and ex-husband. We’re laughing, playing word games and having an hour or so of normalcy under trying conditions.

There has also been an enormous expression of love as we get down to our most basic needs. Most conversations I participate in have ended with “I love you!” And that is especially healing. What are the silver linings you’re experiencing? Sharing them is such a gift. I’d love to hear.

 

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