Isolating, Together

Here we are, so very very here. Here in our home. Here with each other. Entering week 4 of social distancing or physical distancing or social isolation or lockdown or whatever phrase you prefer. I haven’t entered a building other than my home since Saturday, March 14.

We work from home, learn from home, see loved ones on our screens, entertain ourselves, create, exercise, cook and bake, slow down and miss so very many things.

Charlotte’s gap-toothed smile is filling in with adult-sized teeth and she’s mastered riding a two-wheeler.

Evy, newly 9, is exploring a budding interest in baking and also misses everyone deeply.

Our suburban street has filled up with walkers, bikers, runners, families looking for a breath of fresh air. We wave, smile, understand that the answers to “how are you?” are probably only partially true.

As a family, we try not to sink down into stasis. We get dressed in the morning. We limit our screen time and do our best to focus on creating, reading, connecting. Outside time every day, hikes every weekend, we move our bodies and it’s always the right thing to do. I find rare moments of solitude in walking, running, yoga.

Without these things, we get grumpy, short with each other, whiney. Things feel even harder.

None of this is easy. It’s immense gratitude mixed in with frustration, disbelief, grief for what we’ve given up.

I mourn the things that are being missed: milestones, moments big and small, rites of passage, moments to gather, community, ritual, work, celebration.

I am grateful that I’m with my people. That we can all be home. That we still have jobs. For our home and yard. For a garden to plant and a stocked pantry. That we have the time I used to long for: unscheduled evenings and weekends, time to relax into our home, time to do things that have long sat on “to do” lists. It’s nearly impossible to imagine, but I’m sure that someday, when calendars are once again full, we’ll be nostalgic for this time.

And this is how it goes. Sad and grateful. The weight we carry, the gifts we’re given.

 

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