I’m barefoot and braless without a stitch of makeup and that’s no different than any other day in the last three years I have lived in the rural mountain home built by my partner Joey.
“The Mountains are Calling and I Must Go” – John Muir
I’ll see no one today but family but that’s not unusual. I write from my studio or favorite couch. I throw pottery in the garage or clean the guesthouse, all without seeing anyone but the few cars that might pass on our cul-de-sac that ends at the John Muir Wilderness. I understand the suffocating isolation many are experiencing during our Shelter in Place.
All my life I have wanted to live submersed in nature – to walk outside and see more trees than buildings, hear running water and twittering birds, breathe fresh air. I had been a single mother in OC surrounded by a multitude of friends and family before I moved to the Eastern Sierra Mountains, just half hour south of Yosemite National Park. But I’m on east entrance, meaning I’m closer to Nevada cities than California ones.
I never knew cabin fever until blizzards and snowstorms prevented me from driving twenty minutes to town for grocery shopping or a sit in the coffee house to at least watch strangers greet and meet. I didn’t realize how loneliness could squelch my happiness until seclusion overwhelmed and trapped me like heavy, blackout tarp. All too soon, I felt the loss and crumbling of everything my ego thought I had to be: a devoted mother, a 4am friend, an engaged daughter, sister, niece, cousin, aunt, a valued community member.
In the stillness, I have learned who I am without these labels. Choosing who we are is what we all doing right now: a great human experience.
We will find out more about our human potential if we can lean into our hearts for thoughts, feelings and actions. We are in the same storm agreed, and some are in beautiful boats while others float on rafts or less. Some are blissfully bonding with their children while in quarantine and others are trapped in abusive homes or without basic needs. We can give our excess and remember we all live downstream. We can feel happiness for our good fortune or whatever blessing may arise from this uncertainty. We can also pray for the losses, the fear, and reach out to others who are less fortunate or on the front lines. We can hold opposites true.
We can learn to see restlessness as a merely distraction from time with ourselves and the mirror. We transform this discomfort into acceptance of a slow pace, communal awareness, less productivity, and more time barefoot in the grass. If not on Earth Day, then when my human friends will we honor Nature as our Mother? We are Nature’s Children, after all.
Now that millions of people have joined me in isolation, I see the choice to mire in lethargy, frustration and fear of the unknown or get out of these pajamas and find a way to shine my heart light, my soul essence, all of my Jamie-ness. I hope you will join me and shine that light of yours…
Let’s Be the Ray of Sunshine and Dance in the Light. Let’s think of it as a present for our Mother.