My tiny seeds are sprouting out on the porch. Well, some of them are, at least. The tomatoes, basil and squash are moving at a normal pace, but the ARUGULA! Oh, the arugula! I walked out to check on the seeds on Friday morning and gave a whoop of surprise to see tiny arugula seedlings sprouting. Then, yesterday, my eyes popped out of my head to see how much they’d grow in under 24 hours and this morning, well, I might have to take special trip to the garden to transplant them into their permanent homes sooner than planned.
I’m a little wary of this fast growth, to be honest. Will their tender stems survive? Aren’t they too crowded in those tiny pots? Is arugula SUPPOSED to sprout so furiously? I don’t really like change, in general, and this daily change is a little unsettling.
I’m struggling, these days, to get my head back in the game of Going Places and Doing Things. I keep trying and failing to do future planning, both professionally and personally. I know that I need to get a handle on some things that need to/will happen a couple of months from now, but I just…can’t.
I’ve spent an entire year mostly in my tiny apartment, taking serious precautions about where and when I go anywhere, being conscientious about masking up when I do. I cancelled trips, preached to a computer screen, and circumscribed my little life severely.
And now, after all that intention and effort, after such a long season of being on high-alert, it’s time to let the defenses down…or at least start thinking about how to do it. I’m finding it difficult.
I know that, sometime this year, my little congregation will be able to gather indoors again. I know that we need to think about the best ways to do that, how to continue connection with beloved people who’ve joined us from around the world since we’ve been online, how to center the most vulnerable among us so that their participation is safe and welcome.
I know that, sometime this year, I’ll need to start planning ahead for the program I manage, thinking about traveling and coordinating travel for others, too. I know that the work there is good and has great potential to expand, and that once all of us are less consumed with immediate need and impending risk, there will be huge possibilities.
I know that, sometime this year, I’ll be able to think about gathering with friends or sitting in a coffee shop or, well, generally thinking about future life plans. I am looking forward to all of that, but it also feels terrifying. It feels like I’ve been frozen, stuck, staying safe by staying still and the thought of moving again is SCARY.
I think this is all natural. Maybe it’s part of what trauma feels like. I know for sure that it is part of my own internal chemistry and personality: change, for me, takes a long time to ease into. I do not love novelty or uncertainty. I prefer to have researched all the eventualities and possibilities so that I know what I’m getting into.
I should have read up on arugula and its growth timeline before I decided to plant it out there on the porch, I guess.
There is no way to research “how to emerge from a year-long global pandemic.” No one has really done this, before. I imagine it’s helpful to reflect on what’s been good and healthy, these last few months, and what’s been especially hard. In order to keep the good parts and let go, joyfully if tentatively, of the bad ones.
I LIKE not traveling for work. I’d like to keep doing that. I LOVE growing things on my patio and in the garden. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy the movement challenges that helped me survive the winter, and will be leaning into moving my body more regularly and with intention. I am grateful to be anchored and centered in the town where I live, and want to commit myself more deeply to being a part of the community right here.
I am So TIRED of having to feed myself three times a day, seven days a week. I will joyfully leave the cooking behind and return with delight to regular lunch dates with other people inside restaurants. I HATE not being able to browse shelves at the library and the local bookstores, and will try to carefully return to leisurely indoor book browsing. It has been very hard to feel confined – to know that I can’t just hop in the car and go see my family or an overnight road trip to a state park, and I will gladly return to fun, regular weekend getaways.
This categorizing – breaking down HUGE change into more manageable chunks and sorting them into good and bad elements – is really helpful, for me, at least. It makes the big, scary, looming, intimidating THING much more quantifiable and understandable. It makes me feel capable of weathering the transition.
I just googled arugula. Turns out, it grows super fast, reaching full maturity in 4-6 weeks. This is what’s *supposed* to happen, this rocket-speed germination and maturation. Just gotta get my wits about me, lean in to the change and keep up with this new life right here in our midst.