There is no doubt that 2020 has been challenging for most of us. Elections, economic downturns, social upheaval, Brexit, and Covid just to name a few.
I began the year as I always do with lofty goals. Whole pages and charts of them. But for the first couple of months, it all focused on one thing – our wedding.
This was Alan’s second marriage and my third. But I had never had a ‘real’ wedding. This time was going to be different. We were going to do this thing ‘right.’
While we were not going extravagant or inviting the whole world, we were going to have our closest friends and family, including two of my sons from America. Sure, I was doing most of it myself, including sewing my own dress, crocheting bouquets for me and my bridesmaids, making personalized invites, and cooking most of the food. So, as January and 2020 dawned, I had already begun to write down plans and timelines. We bought tickets for my sons’ travel. We had already booked the venue.
As February rolled around, I was a bit behind schedule, but confident that I could catch up. Then we began to hear stories about this new virus. We weren’t too worried. That was in China. And our wedding was only three months away. But by the end of the month, Italy was in full lock down. Tens of thousands of people had died. And we had our first cases here, too.
By the first week in March, we were beginning to get worried. Alan has asthma, which puts him in the high risk category. We talked about it, especially since one of the primary motivators for ‘marriage’ was to simplify wills, inheritance, and taxes. The Registrar’s office thought we were Crazzy. (We are!) I called them a few times for updates. Finally, Alan and I decided…better safe than sorry. So, I called one more time and asked when was the soonest they could reschedule us. That was Monday morning, they said Wednesday. So with only 48 hours notice, we did it. With just us, @PanKwake, and two friends who could rearrange their afternoon, we tied the knot.
Then we spent the next week running around, finalizing plans, and even making DIY wills. We entered lockdown just a few days before the UK issued a mandate for the rest of the countries. We managed to squeeze our wedding in just in time. All that hoopla…for nothing. I have two boxes of wedding stuff, fabric, bouquets, and a finished veil under our bed.
And I turned my focus to preparing for what was to come. Though none of us could have guessed that we would be in another lockdown as 2021 began. All that planning? For nothing?
There’s some lessons there, though. And in those blighted tomatoes as well.
All our plans and designs in the world can be blown away by a teeny, tiny, unseen except with an electron microscope, strand of RNA. Viruses are not even technically ‘living.’ And those tomatoes? Rain. The very thing that Australia and my former home of California were praying for in their battles against wildfires. Too much of it annihilated all my hard work, hopes, and dreams for maters.
Does that mean I have given up on planning?
Far from it. I began 2021 with charts, drawings, and plans for my urban farm & homestead. I still believe in those permaculture ideals of:
- Earth Care…
- People Care…
- Fair Share…
And I am excited to put those plans into action.
But I am also more in tune with the concepts of Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Those central tenents of the First Nations and indigenous peoples who still retain some memory of what it means to live in harmony with nature, the seasons, and those things beyond our control.
This ideology of mankind being higher than, above nature, or having ‘dominion’ over other forms of life is no longer serving us well. It probably never did. The truth is that none of us can control those viruses. We can’t control rains or droughts, and we aren’t even all that effective at fight things like fires and floods. Let alone their big sisters hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes – that bring even the mighty to their knees.
And none of us truly ‘own’ anything. Those designer clothes will rot away, even if we eschew the temptations to acquire the latest trendy coverings. The same for our technology – cars, computers, phones, you name it. I live in a one-hundred-fifty year old @HomeCrazzyHome and trust me even those eventually crumble. And despite the illusion of our 15-minutes of fame, we too fade into the anonymity of history, except for a handful of mostly despotic, white men.
No, the truth is…
At best, we are only stewards.
Sent here for a blink in the eye of time, barely a grain of sand in that hourglass, and we are gone. But with planning and commitment what we leave behind can make this a better world for those to come.
Our jobs right now is the birth a new world. A more sustainable and regenerative way of living. A more compassionate and equitable place for all. Even my beloved @PanKwake won’t live to see the fulfilment of that dream. But we are building for that 7th generation. Our children’s children’s children’s children’s children’s children.
And at the same time as we are birthing and nurturing that new life, we must simultaneously hospice an old system that no longer works for us (and probably never did for most people). We need to do that with compassion. In such a way that the new is not built on the blood of the old. That never works well.
Personally, I feel incredibly blessed to be where I am right now. As a being standing upon the cusp of my wisewoman years, I look forward to midwifing both the death of the old and the birth of the new.
I believe we all have a part to play in that process. And now is a wonderful time to reflect on where you have been and who you are, the values that you hold dear, and what you feel is your calling. Yes, none of us are too old to have a calling.
I look forward to sharing my journey with you in the days, weeks, months, and years to come. Until then…
Goddess bless you and yours,