As I write this, I am listening to my son play the piano in the next room, a song that I loved playing when I took lessons at his age.  I am thinking about how much, despite being in a pandemic, I have loved all our extra time together as a family.

Thor has been in online school for several weeks now, and while he is doing well with that, the isolation is tough for him.  He already felt confined in this small town, and now he feels trapped.   But, we are so grateful that my husband is able to work from home full time, we have access to good, healthy food (and I'm able to do weekly grocery shopping for my parents, which means I see them from afar weekly), and since we live on the edge of a small town, getting outside to bike or run or walk while keeping away from people is pretty easy.  However, I know that we are very fortunate when so many are suffering right now, and I don't take any of our privilege for granted.

Last weekend on Easter, my husband watched mass, as he does every Sunday (we have a non-denominational home, but my husband has Catholic leanings), while I made cinnamon rolls.  The night before, the three of us dyed eggs using a variety of things, including turmeric, blueberries, mint, spinach, purple cabbage, and avocado skins.  Natural is beautiful. 

We've been planting starts and seeds in our tiny backyard garden, but also out at my sister's place in hopes of a larger harvest this year to put up stores for the year to come.  But this year's harvest has already begun - I've gathered and dried nettles foraged on my morning walks, and I've cut back one of our rosemary and have two full quart jars.  (I'm also taking an online herbalism mini-course for more inspiration.)  After finally finding a recipe I like, I've been making whole-wheat sandwich sourdough every week.  This is usually topped with sprouted lentils, which are in heavy rotation right now and making me want to sprout all the things.  

Sewing is a balm right now.  I love a project.  I made 25 masks for a local sewing shop that is giving them to the VA, the local hospital, and the local markets.  Even though it was small, it felt like something I could do for my town during this time.  I've made two tops recently from a $3 thrifted pattern and scraps of fabric thrifted over the years.  My goal is to have a closet more full of handmade things than not in the future.  And, it just feels really good to work with my hands, to make useful and purposeful things. 

These are things are things we've done for quite some time to some degree, but right now they feel so much more comforting, and so much more urgent.  Ideas we've talked about in the past don't seem so "someday" now, and I'm ready to make them happen.  Is it spring?  Is it the pandemic?  I don't know, but I feel on fire to make the most of this time, our resources, and those "someday" ideas.  Growing more of our own food, living as low-waste as we can, and showing compassion and love to all ... these are the seeds I want to plant.

I'll take the simpler, slower life any day, the days that smell like homemade bread and homegrown herbal teas simmering on the stove, the days that resonate with family togetherness and decisions that benefit not only us but Mother Earth.   
by mlekoshi