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Finding connection in a basket of flowers

One of my most frequent themes for the past few years is connection.

To me, the more we’ve become digitally connected we’ve become physically disconnected. We all move in this fast-paced world. We thrive on busy-ness. We hold some sort of reverence for those who work themselves to the point of fatigue. We take and odd pride in being a “hot mess”.

At least we used to. Things are changing. Rapidly. In ways very few would have expected. I’ve said before that we’ve needed some sort of revolution, although I would have preferred that no one had to die in order to have this particular revolution. We needed a reset. This is it. This pandemic is the do-over the whole world and everything in it has needed.

Out on my walk the other day, I found this in the river bed. A rock and an old gear piece -- together they swirl away at the basalt to form something new.  I thought it was a good metaphor for what we're dealing with in the world today.
Grinding Away

I, for one, needed to be forced into a stop. I realize this sounds funny because I’ve been working harder than ever in the last few weeks. But I needed to be reminded that service, for me, is fuel for my soul. I’ve been living that service for a month now and I feel more alive than I have in a while. That said, I’ve also been reminded I need to allow myself to stop. To rest. The problems of my world will still be there after a nap. Or a day away from the computer or the sewing machine.

During the isolation order, I’ve been focusing on living in the moment. Doing the next right thing. I’m a planner with nothing to plan. I have to look at the day in front of me and get the things done that have to be done in that moment for that day.

Tomorrow? I’ll look at that in the morning.

This weekend? I can’t even think about that right now.

So anyway, back to connection. I feel like the Universe has been preparing me for this moment. In the last two years, maybe longer, I’ve craved belonging and connection. I’ve found myself needing not just my immediate family, but my extended family even more. I’ve been a part of more family reunions than I ever have – some have been in person, but some are online via and I’ve been able to fill in some missing links – to my biological family and my mom’s biological family. That’s allowed me to feel more whole.

I’ve found myself longing for hand-written letters again. I’ve started pen pal campaigns in my community and signed up for others. I’m meeting new people in a very old-school way. I even ordered new stationary. I love stationary. I love writing letters. We all email so much – and I have some emails that are pretty important to me – but there’s nothing like a hand-written note.

I’ve cherished home-cooked meals more especially with friends and family I don’t see often. The first day of the isolation order I was invited to a friend’s house for pheasant fajitas. There were just three of us and we knew we wouldn’t get to see each other often for a while. We snuck in a meal and had a great conversation to go with it. A few weeks ago, I took an online cooking class through the University of Idaho alumni association. My girls and I had a blast in our kitchen – the food was so good we didn’t even get it on the plate. We ate it out of the pan!

This week, I found myself longing for a good ol’ fashioned May Day basket. I’ve been collecting items to tuck inside some doorbell surprises. Some time Friday I’ll deliver. In my neighborhood it’s hard to knock and run fast enough to get out of sight – so no surprises here. But it will give me a chance to reach out to some friends and neighbors whom I cherish.

So that’s my challenge to the world this week. Google May Day baskets or Beltane if you prefer. No matter what you decide to do, deliver something beautiful to a neighbor or a friend or a complete stranger. Reach out. A hand-written note, a meal or treat in a basket, a promissory note for time together when it’s safer… something. Just connect.

I truly believe connection is what will save us. Beyond vaccinations and isolation orders, we must belong to each other somehow. Care about each other. We must connect.

What I’m reading: Together by Vivek Murth.

What I'm listening to: A playlist from Spotify called "Reading Soundtrack". I love it. It's so peaceful!

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