Saturday, March 21, 2020

Quarantine Times

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

Charles Dickens may have been talking about the French Revolution, but those words apply now.

The worst is evident, with people losing, and isolated from, loved ones. The fear and stress and frustration. The deep uncertainty.

The best? Fortunately we are hearing a lot about this too: people helping others, singing worldwide on balconies each night, creating online meetups, the environment rebounding after a short period of humans chilling out. Many are embracing shelter-in-place as an opportunity to reconnect with family, creativity and their own souls. One of my friends said she feels like life has finally slowed to a pace she's comfortable with. Another walks to the beach every day and says prayers for the world.

It's been great watching friends share their creativity from isolation. One is playing his guitar and singing a new song each day. Another, in her pjs in bed, tells hilarious, heart-warming stories. I'm seeing people offer up what they are cooking, painting, writing... And I happen to be in the middle of teaching my online Inspired Writing course, an incredible time to be connecting with writers from all over the world.

Dave and I feel insanely fortunate to be settled at our place in Baja after ten months of travel. We know a number of housesitters whose plans have been falling like dominoes. But if anyone is flexible and resilient and well-connected, it's nomads.

We spent a wonderful week in Oaxaca last month before coming home to Baja.

While the Mexican government hasn't officially announced restrictions, large events have been cancelled and some stores are limiting the number of people who can enter at one time. Most people are lying low, keeping their distance and high-fiving from afar.

We have heard there are some cases of the virus creeping into our community, but we don't personally know of anyone. While spring break can be raucous around here, the beaches are quiet. As are the hiking hills. I bless the fact that we can get outside to walk and swim every day, and sit on our rooftop patio to watch the last of the season's whales go by.

Hanging out with friends at a beach bar, pre-isolation...we saw an incredible whale show.
Our lives haven't significantly changed except that we are leaving home less. We've been doing yoga, meditating, reading and cooking. I'm still hot on the whole food, plant based cooking, and Dave's new hobby is pickling veggies. We like to play Yahtzee and Rummikub and watch YouTube videos of everything from Eckhart Tolle to great moments on The Voice. I'm playing the uke, and we sing together. I'm also doing Duolingo every day to work on my Spanish...and I just started French because when this is all over, I want to go to Paris for my first time!

I'd love to hear from you what your lives are like right now--and what your hopes and dreams are for when this is all over. Do you feel growth, awareness and compassion coming out of this very strange time? And what do you hope the "new normal" looks like?

In the meantime, I send my love out to everyone.

Cerritos Beach Sunset

* I am teaching the self-paced, online Inspired Writing course again April 5, and the second version (Inspired Writing: The Workshop) April 26. Contact me if you'd like to join or have questions.