And So It Begins…

I decided to turn the Christmas lights back on. They look cheerful shining in the dark.

I probably should have started blogging about this much earlier, but better late than never. Let’s back up a bit. This experience started for me on March 11, 2020. I was supposed to fly to Florida on the 12th for a two-week stay, which would have included working with a collaborator on a couple of musical projects, the Phoenix Phyre festival, a show by Aurelio Voltaire, and my dedication to begin study toward initiation into the Alexandrian tradition. I’d been listening to the news surrounding the novel coronavirus outbreak, and I was beginning to wonder if I should cancel the trip.

I was packed and ready to go, but all evening I had been feeling a sense of dread. I’m used to feeling excited and a bit unsettled before I travel, but this was different. It was one of those Is the plane going to crash sort of feelings. At 11:30, I went to bed to try to get some sleep, and I got a message from my friend, Jaeme, who said, “Read this article and then decide if you should cancel your trip.” It was the first piece I’d seen on sheltering in place and flattening the curve, both phrases that would become increasingly familiar over the next few weeks. After reading the article, I got on the airline’s website and canceled.

Over the next couple of days, Jaeme and I gathered enough supplies to be able to stay away from stores and shelter in place for two to four weeks. I bought ONE eight-roll package of toilet paper, which will last me two months under the current conditions of not allowing anyone else into my house. No hoarding here. We went to one of the Amish bulk stores that dot our area of the country-side, but even there it was tough to find things like flour and yeast. Even my nineteen-year-old, dark-metal daughter had begun baking bread. If the rest of the country hadn’t followed suit, I’d be pretty sure she was an alien replacement.

I am well-aware that I have a lot to be grateful for, especially during this time. I live back three miles of dirt roads with very little traffic by my house, which sits on twenty acres. I work entirely on-line, although one of my regular clients isn’t sending anything at the moment, and the number of projects on job boards has fallen off sharply. But it is spring and I have been spending my time with general clean up and gardening chores. I started seeds the other day, and so far the broccoli, bok choy, tomatoes, and marigolds have poked their heads out of the soil. I have been planning for several years to build an earth oven in my backyard, so this seems like a good time to tackle that project. I’ll keep you updated on my progress here.

I’m trying to maintain a positive attitude, and I have to be honest, I am not having that much trouble being alone at this point. I am a natural introvert and the hermit’s life has always appealed to me. That said, I know there are heartaches in my future, as there will be for all of us. This pandemic will likely touch everyone on the planet in some way or other. I have friends in New York City who are living through that nightmare right now. The husband of another friend just passed away and because of the restrictions the state has put on funerals, she has had to severely limit the number of people who can attend. This will affect us all, eventually.

For now, though, I am going to focus on my writing and my garden and hope for the best. Wash your hands; keep your distance, and stay well.

Correction: Alexandrian coven has been changed to tradition.

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