In my quarantine life I am spending a couple months with a dear friend and her family, who live in the woods.
I had planned on visiting her for a few weeks in March to help as she had her second baby.
Quarantine started in the middle of those few weeks, and so we all decided to extend the visit. This is much better than staying in my small apartment in the suburbs that has no yard.
I am grateful - overwhelmingly and incredibly grateful.
While I am here I decided to make a project of getting to know all the trees and plants on their land.
I go walking around their little trail system, usually with a toddler running behind me, and we stop to say hi to each cedar tree, Douglas fir, and hemlock. We say hello to the huckleberries, who are starting to flower, and we say hi to the ferns, whose leaves tower over the little one.
And then there is a great old giant grandmother cedar. She lets her branches hang low, so I can reach up and gently pat them, while I say hello to her.
In the mid-afternoons, when the house is quiet and nap time is happening, I sit underneath grandmother cedar for a while.
Little birds hop around the ferns, twittering and digging for worms. Small squirrels run up and down the trees, scritching and scratching. And today, I heard an owl hooting, even though it was day time. "Who-Whoooooo" it said.
This is a dreamy delight, AND guilt almost kept me from it.
You see, my husband is still at home in our tiny apartment in the suburbs. I've had many thoughts about this:
"How can I leave him alone??"
"He's going to go crazy doing quarantine by himself, and it's all my fault!!!"
"This can't be what a good partner does. Shouldn't a good partner stay with her husband and not enjoy herself while he is miserable?!?!"
These thoughts make my mind feel like it's stuck in a vice. Just writing them makes me feel like I am trapped in a too small box, and my whole body tenses up.
I know this feeling. It is the feeling that happens whenever I tell myself a lie.
What I know is that none of those thoughts are true.
What's wonderful is that there is another voice within me, which has gotten stronger and stronger the more I listen to her.
She is the soft, wild, flowing river voice. She is the soul voice. The wild woman voice. The one who knows.
Here is what she says:
"Choose aliveness, no matter how strange the outer circumstances look."
"Choose the situation that makes your heart feel open, soft, and tender."
"Choose the path that increases your feelings of love and makes you want to sing."
My wild woman wants nothing more than to hang out underneath the cedar tree every day.
The big lesson I am being called to is to do that unapologetically. I am being called to let my husband have his journey and to let me have mine. I am being called to sink into the caring energy of the trees and land, guilt-free.
This is the wild woman lesson I am living in right now. It's a beautiful one. I know it will lead to more freedom, and I am grateful - overwhelmingly and incredibly grateful.
I am also writing this knowing my quarantine life is very different than what many are experiencing.
I am wishing you well and sending you love, especially if this situation is proving to be a lot tougher and challenging than you expected.
May the voice of the wild woman rise up within you and guide you to more freedom in your life. This is always possible, even now.