Stay Sane

Stay home.

 Stay healthy.

 Perhaps we should add one more thing: Stay sane.

I was off my game yesterday. I managed to make space in my art room and clean up the living and dining rooms, but I was definitely not my regular self. There has been something weighing heavily that I hope I can share soon. I need your wisdom and your soft touch. 

Today I had to kickstart my morning. The vehicular version of “snap out of it”. I assume that if I don’t stray too far, and I stay in my car, that a drive isn’t out of the question. Enumclaw is close, just the next town over, but worlds away in so many other respects. A way to stay sane. 

Stepping out the door at five minutes after six, I was struck by that same moon that graced the western sky yesterday. It was brilliant against a sky about to shift into  second gear. 

I can’t even say how much I miss my spring adventure mornings. The alarm, the backpack carefully stowed away with all my essentials and the early morning drive. Yesterday a friend shared a quote in her blog post that caused a little skip in my heart : 

” The nearer the dawn, the darker the night”   ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I hear a description of healing. I hear a description of recovery. When we begin to get better, we move out of this black night and into the day that spills color across the emerging landscape. It happened this way with my last knee surgery: every day a little better. It happens like this in my heart: every day a little better. And it will happen this way now: every day a little better. No need to curse the dark night. Dawn is near. 

I drove down small roads in this sleepy town. There is no mistaking that this is farm country by the look and the smell of it. I rolled down my window and took it all in. You can tell a lot about the world just by staying mindful of your own senses. I could smell the musk of the cows and sheep, their manure thick in the air. I could feel the deep cold that lives in the early mornings of these April months. There was a skunk and cherry blossoms and wood smoke. 

This was a little taste. I miss the dusty path to the mountain. I miss the sharp rocks, the flowers climbing up through the cracks. I miss the small wood bridges and the sound of the birds. Sometimes in their absence there is only silence and stillness and my own breath in the morning air, my own heart beating inside my chest. I miss the solitude of wide open spaces and knowing I am miles from any other human. 

I drive by small shops and roadside stands, the ampitheater and schools. I pass the tribal casino and churches. They all bear the signage of this extraordinary time. Closed. Stay safe. We’ll see you soon. 

In my mind I am tapping my inner revolutionary, summoning my inner warrior. When this is all in the rearview it will be more important than ever that we are mindful of a failed leadership throughout this crisis. We must remain vigilant against the culture of lies, arrogance and deceit. We must remember that in the election coming up we are not casting a vote for personality, but principle. A crisis gives us the unique opportunity to unite rather than divide. Are you courageous enough to vote your values ? 

In the meantime, let your senses fill you with the goodness of this day. Let life come at you in the fresh grass, the cackling crows and the songs of those tiny little birds in the bushes, busily building their nests. The bees are back too. The squirrels and neighbor cats are tip-toeing across the back fence and the hostas that are planted in the pots are coming up with some urgency. It’s an amazing time to be alive.

As for our sheltering in place ?

This too shall pass. 


2 Comments on “Stay Sane

  1. This is so true! I was speaking with my 89 year old uncle the other day, a lifelong resident of LA, and he spoke about feeling and understanding the “pulse” of a city if you have lived there long enough. How he can feel and sense that the pulse is still there. Staying present helps him remain hopeful.
    Thank you for your beautiful words of hope.

Leave a Reply to Bonnie RaeCancel reply