When I started this blog, I was hoping to have one blog post a week. Clearly, that hasn’t happened. Honestly, I’ve been having a hard time putting into words what I’m feeling about all of this. My emotions are like that of a roller coaster. One minute I’m completely okay with being confined to my little homestead with my little family. We will keep to ourselves and just plug away at all the springtime chores that need done around here. And the next, I miss the faces of my family and friends so much that it hurts. It’s exhausting.
The other day I went to the grocery store for the first time in 41 days (thank you food box delivery subscriptions). And all I kept thinking was ‘everything is so weird.’ In the first store that I went to, they only allowed a certain number of customers in at a time. I stood at the entrance and waited until the person in front of me was well passed the 6 foot guideline and the store employee told me I could proceed. My next stop didn’t seem to have a new guideline on occupancy but it did have arrows on the floor telling me which way to walk down each aisle. As I was doing my shopping, I was looking at peoples faces. No one made eye contact. Even if we did make eye contact and try to flash a smile of solidarity, we wouldn’t have been able to see it because we are all wearing masks. This is a strange new world.
It isn’t supposed to be this way. We, as human beings, are not meant to be alone. It’s in the Bible. We are not made to be fearful of one another so much so that we can’t even make eye contact. We are made to be in fellowship with other people. We are made to be with family, our whole family, and our friends and our church groups. This “season” is so incredibly lonely. And if I’m feeling this way with a husband and two rambunctious boys running around, I can’t imagine how the single people, the elderly, and the extroverts of the world are feeling. My heart goes out to them, truly.
Before any of this global pandemic started, years before, our family had plans to buy a little piece of land, put some chickens and a garden on it and provide some of our own food. These last 6 weeks have given me the affirmation that I needed to know that this is exactly what is right for our family. This is where I’m meant to be, and this is what I’m meant to do right now.
There are farmers all over the country (maybe even the world?) dumping milk down the drain, mass killing their chickens and turning under their crop fields. This food system is more than broken, it is shattered. Even if we begin to open up some states later this week, it is going to take much longer to fix all that has been broken. If there is any good that can come of this situation, I hope it’s that people begin to shop for their food closer to home. There are farmers markets everywhere, even in big cities. Find one or two near you and support your local farmer. Buy a dozen eggs, some seed starts or some homemade bread from your neighbor. When we begin to support our local small businesses, small farmers and our neighbors, that is when we will begin to heal this broken system and our planet.
Lucky for us, nature doesn’t stop because of the pandemic. In fact, it looks like she’s thriving all over the world because humans have been contained for over a month. But that’s a post for a different day. I look out into my backyard and I see chickens tilling and fertilizing garden space for me AND laying eggs. I see little buds on my lilac bushes. I see dandelions in the yard that honey bees are visiting. Spring is here and its just the picture of hope and promise that we all need right now.