Last night we Californians got word that the whole state is in “lockdown”– allowed to leave our homes only for “essential” activities: food, supplies, medicine, doctor, work. All “non-essential” businesses ordered closed.
I must say I am peculiarly well-formed for the cloister and in fact have lived like this for months at a time over the years, at various writers’ residencies, monasteries, cabins, hermitages and retreat houses.
Though sans pandemic, which does put a slightly different complexion on things.
My upstairs neighbor just returned home from grocery shopping at Sprouts and Target and said food except for milk and eggs is plentiful. Tons of produce.
Also, thank the Lord, we are still allowed to take walks in our neighborhood, either alone or with our families if we have a family.
Nonetheless I might purchase a jump rope. Important to attend to physical well-being, as well as spiritual, mental and emotional, during these uncertain times.
Never have I been so grateful for my plant-filled balcony and garden.
A downstairs neighbor just reported that this is supposed to last at least six months. Then he announced he’s going to build a chicken coop in the back yard.
The good news is I’m not alone or isolated here.
I attended Mass last Monday (the last time it appears for a while–or possibly, who knows, ever!). Funny, four days seems like a lifetime ago.
Kneeling in my pew after taking the Eucharist, I reflected that no matter how sick, contagious, diseased, bleeding, festering, mutilated or broken we may be–Christ never distances himself from us.
He enters into the closest possible solidarity with us. As Flannery O’Connor said, “You can’t be any poorer than dead.”
That’s a message of hope–and of love.
Here’s the link to a piece of mine on the connection between the 40 days of a quarantine and the 40 days of Lent that appeared on the website of the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Shrine.
And here’s a video I made this week, to remind myself that life springs eternal.