The world isn’t ending. But it sure feels weird. Here, in the Bay Area of California, there has been a “Shelter in Place” order for a week longer than the rest of the state. No one is supposed to go outside except for essentials – medical needs, groceries, exercise (alone), etc. My partner and I were walking down the main street of our town last weekend, a few days into the “Shelter in Place” order, in order to get some groceries and it was so strange. The normally busy street was almost deserted. People stepped out into the street to make sure that there was enough room between them and us. Even in the store, the lines were more spread out and people were careful about what they touched.
If you live in a city or reasonably populated town, chances are that your world is a bit upside down these days. In some areas like Italy or South Korea, your world is more than a bit crazy! For some of us, this time will end in loss, for others it’ll be a time of pain, depression, or loneliness, for others it’ll be a time of joy and indulgence. We will each respond based on our own circumstances and personalities.
Personally, I like being around people. I like having the option to talk to lots of people. I like touch between trusted friends and partners. This isolation is driving me a little crazy. I’m among the privileged folks who get to work from home, so I don’t have to worry about income or paying rent. All I have to deal with is the isolation – and I don’t even live alone.
What is keeping me sane, or at least not totally crazy, is focusing on my spirituality. I’m taking time each morning to anoint a blessed stone and say the following prayer:
Kindreds, I call to you.
Ancestors, Noble Ones, Shining Ones.
Thank You for this day.
Thank You for my health and wellbeing.
May You help me to stay well.
I make sure to open a window or patio door and let some of the fresh air in. Taking time to listen to the birds and the wind and the sounds of the outside. I do my best to get outside periodically and walk around – taking care to avoid anyone but my partner. I spend time each day, even if only a couple minutes, thinking about my gods and spirit allies, working to connect to the greater whole. I find time to attend the online Zoom rituals hosted by the various organizations – and to join in the online gatherings of a more casual sort.
So in these times of isolation and insanity, take time to lean on your spirituality, to lean on your religions, and to connect with that which is greater than any one individual. Search google, YouTube, or Facebook for online rituals and see if you can attend those. Check out your podcast feeds for updated podcasts and rituals. Find your community and connection where you can.
And wash your hands.