We can grow so slowly that we don’t even notice it happening. I don’t mean physically, but mentally and emotionally over a period of time. And by time, I’m referring to this time. Pandemic time.
In trying to cope with the life changing circumstances we find ourselves in, I have been flinging body and mind into routines: clearing clutter in the house, organizing, making things, reading, cooking, hiking, and so forth. All the while, I hadn’t realized the growth. I hadn’t been aware of the roots thriving underneath, establishing themselves like an ecosystem that supports an entire woodland under a soft, yet sturdy forest floor.
A safety net. Landing places of interwoven threads as strong and fine as spider silk are being spun beneath the difficult days, and I feel it not only in myself, but collectively. I can imagine that I am not alone.
When wakeful nights are replaced by sleep, when I can more often stem the flow of unexpected tears, when I can better endure the deep ache I feel to see and hug my kids, for freedom, and to enjoy all that I once took for granted (but no longer do), then I realize that I am growing. Not always, not consistently but, still, I am feeling the primary roots getting established to help me hang in there.
Did you know that root hairs, the filaments that increase the surface area of a tree’s root and absorb what is needed to keep the root alive are individual cells that only live for a few days? And because of their short lives, they need to grow continually? That is how I see the daily work of rituals and routines right now. Those actions – work, creating, crafting nurturing surroundings, staying connected (as much as is possible through distance), and abiding by the social contract of keeping ourselves and others safe – these are the root hairs that need to be continually re-grown to feed the primary root.
As I look to spring and warmer weather ahead, I am making more conscious plans to keep the growth happening. In doing so I am keeping this in mind for myself:
Expect dark and light days, gentle and harsh, and try to simply accept them. Sit with it all and ride through it.
What I do today, and tomorrow, and the next day is that which makes up my life. Don’t waste it.
Learn, always. I am unsure about a lot of things and that’s okay. The important thing is staying open to learning, and to do and be better.
Nurture relationships. Reach out and check in. A call, text, note or the sound of a voice by phone call could make a world of difference to someone.
Shelter bonds that matter from minor injuries. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Cut people some slack. I need to remind myself that I have never regretted being kind.
An inability to be on the frontlines or to take in the horrors of the capitalist, state run world right now is an act of self preservation. It’s okay. Instead find ways to integrate my anarchist soul into mutual aid in my community.
Know that most people will not read your blog, haha! That’s okay. Do things because you want to, and because the process is useful.
I found listing how growth is happening and how to keep it happening useful . Maybe doing it will be useful for you as well.
As always, hitting the follow button is appreciated if you find any of the content I create useful or entertaining. And please share this with others if you think it might be helpful.
Stay well and safe, Christine