The way I see it....saving graces
Good morning friends….
I am writing in a whisper, if that is even possible. I am thinking quietly, not wanting to stir the “kins” from slumber. To be honest, I am relishing this time, it reminds me of those early mothering days when I would put a baby down for a nap, holding my breath, so as not to stir the gentle soul….all in the name of getting a few precious moments to myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love having my family around me, there are five of us bumping along but as we move into day 22 of our “sheltering in place” I can see a restlessness, signs of “get me out of here” mixed with quiet calm. I can’t quite get a read on where we are all going just yet. I am not certain any of us do except that we are meant to stay home.
I will wait here in the fields
to see how well the rain
brings on the grass.
In the labor of the fields
longer than a man's life.
I am at home.
Don't come with me.
You stay home too.
I will be standing in the woods
where the old trees
move only with the wind
and then with gravity.
In the stillness of the trees
I am at home.
Don't come with me.
You stay home too.
It is hard to articulate the swirl of emotions surrounding Covid-19. It ways heavy and there is no escaping it. We grieve for those who have passed, those suffering under the insufferable weight of the symptoms and those of us who pray that the spidery web of this pandemic escapes us. We rise, we prepare, we pray and we move forward. For me, it is a reminder that each day of our lives is a blessing, never to be taken for granted. I move forward hopeful and with gratitude.
|A time to gather...|
For our family, one of our saving graces is the woods. As the kids say, this is the perfect house for a “quarantine”. The only neighbors we can see from our windows are creatures large and small. Mr. H and I have been wandering in all directions, venturing wide and far. We have been gently cutting trails as we go, expanding the walk for our poetry trail and a few spots to gather, sit and reflect. As we walk, I am grateful to have him by my side. If ever there was a perfect time to retire from expat life in Hong Kong, this was it.
We managed a bit of excitement last week with a night visitor, a young bear with an eye on our bird feeder. We had a feeling one was around and were surprised to see him outside our family room one night chasing away our resident porcupine, Priscilla. Seeing that our porcupine has a name, it seemed only fitting to give the bear a name. At the suggestion of Pamela From The House of Edward, we (or rather I) am calling him Winston. We haven't seen him since and that might be the last of him now that the bird feeders are down but it certainly added drama to our family quarantine time.
|Miss Christine perfects the|
Quintessential Chocolate Chip Cookie
Our next saving grace is the kitchen where we are trying new recipes for comfort and health. Our daughter, Miss Claire, baked amazing Quintessential Chocolate Chip Cookies, I have declared them my favorite. Mr. H has been creating up some healthy fish dishes, with a generous dose of chili flakes. Our youngest son, Connor, is our food critic and since he is so keen to remark on all the delicious salads he makes for his lunch, we have declared him the salad chef for family meals…as long as he holds on the chili flakes. Our daughter, Miss Christine, has been perfecting our family pizzas to the point where Mr. H declared them the best Henriques homemade pizza he has ever had. The key is in the flour and the seasoning, you can find the recipe and ingredients here. With thanks to our friend Paula for putting us in the right direction! I am not sure how long this culinary wizardry amongst my family will last but I intend to enjoy it for as long as I can.
|The Gathering Room in the Carriage House|
The third saving grace is a having the space for everyone to wander off to their respective study and work spaces. Our internet connection is healthy, allowing for all the modes of communication for working, studying and procrastinating. Our kids have taken over the Carriage House (my Tahilla Gatherings space) as an exercise studio, study, office, hiding space and TV viewing space.
Mr. H has claimed our barn/garage as his own and has dragged half the forest into it, proudly displaying tree stumps and wood cuts of varying thickness and length. I agreed to buying a chainsaw to help make way in the barn. That was two weeks ago and it is still in the box. He agreed to a lesson on how to use it first. I wince at the thought of it and he does too. In the meantime, he is making good use of his handy Zubat pruning saw.
|Mrs. H sets up shop with a view to a clothesline.|
As for me, I have fashioned my own work and reading space in front of the "Master and Commander" window which was suppose to be the "Something's Gotta Give" window. Long story, you can read about it here. I am enjoying the space with a view to the woods, our clothesline, blue bird houses and Priscilla Porcupine who strolls by every now and again. It's nice to be using this window space for what I had intended all those years ago. Would I give up the studio for it? Only when in quarantine.. ;)
|Blue bird scoping out a nesting spot|
|Priscilla porcupines wanders by...|
Today, I am reacting quietly to the surge of news and well intentioned emails from family and friends with more news about the news. It is dire, there is no doubt about it. And there is hope and faith in what so many are doing, especially the medical community...
and then the whole wold
walked inside and shut their doors
and said we will stop it all.
to protect our weaker ones
our sicker ones. our older ones.
nothing in the history of humankind
ever felt more like love than this.
Be well, stay safe and take care my friends,
PS....If you would like to join the daily conversation, you can find me on Instagram HERE
You can read an update on our April Tahilla Gatherings event HERE