As I’m sure many of you have recently experienced, I found myself struck with anxiety as the weight of the pandemic hit. What will life, work, the world look like moving forward? What is going to happen to the most vulnerable people in our community? What losses are we and those close to us going to experience? I found myself letting my worries bring me to worst-case scenario thinking and spiraling into anxious panic. After making some efforts through yoga and exercise to adjust my perspective, life started to feel a little less bleak as I allowed joy to creep back into my thoughts.
In times like these, we need to capitalize on that joy and cultivate a sense of delight in the place we are (stuck) at right now. With that in mind, we'd like to bring you a short series on finding delight in quarantine, with a little focus on nature, plant medicine and other witchy things. These are just things we experience- they may not be terribly profound but they may make you smile, take your mind off your worries and, hopefully, contribute to your wellness. Delight is contagious so don't forget to share it with your pals.
A few days ago, the first seeds for our garden germinated. As soon as my eyes caught a glimpse of the little, green shoot bursting out of the dark brown soil, I let out a squeal of delight. “My babies are popping!” I exclaimed. My boyfriend stared at me with raised eyebrows, likely startled by my piercingly high pitched voice and sudden burst of energy shortly after getting out of bed. But, I could not contain my glee. Plants are pretty much my favorite, and there is endless magic in watching the babies develop from tiny seeds into full grown, nourishing herbs, flowers and vegetables. I clapped my hands together, jumped off the stool and cheerfully hustled to give my little ones their morning water.
I take great joy in checking on my little seedlings every day, assessing their needs, giving them love (and water, and some fish slurry now and again). I watch them closely, taking note if they are growing or stunted, the health of their leaves, the strength of their stems, the direction they are leaning and whether or not their soil is dry. I work to ensure their needs are met, and their home in my window is warm and full of light. I gaze over them onto the garden on the other side of glass. It is currently blanketed in snow, but that does not stop me from imagining the space lush and teeming with life as the earth awakens from its winter slumber.
Each tray of seedlings is a promise of what is to come. I think about how those two barely visible thyme cotyledons will one day be a bushy herb plant, with strings of leaves so abundant that they are entangled in a savory nest. I look at the sprouted Blue Vervain and imagine my bees and butterflies grazing through its vibrant flowers and later using those same flowers to make medicines to calm anxious nerves. This is what I've been waiting for all winter. This is the start of spring, and I am filled with a sense of delight and gratitude for new life, the knowledge of greener times ahead and the opportunity to share these plants with all of you!