Spring has officially arrived at Augustana.
And I am super grateful.
All of our other local trails have now closed, so we are walking at Augustana every day.
I notice new flowers opening up every day.
Even if a lot of the trees are still bare,
the grass is green.
On our street, this tulip tree has more flowers blossoming every time we walk under it.
I have loved getting to walk with my boys.
Cole was here for a couple of weeks from Arkansas.
He got to hike with us in the woods once more before the trails closed.
Getting outside for a little walk each day has been a lifesaver for me during this season of sheltering at home.
Even getting caught out in the rain one day this week didn’t bother me. Ben said it was just like we were in Scotland.
Also I’m still baking sourdough bread every single day.
And sprouting mung beans.
We went to a Zoom Powerpoint Party where everyone had to do a 3 minute presentation on whatever they wanted. It was a super fun idea, and I did mine on sprouting mung beans. So if you need a little tutorial, here you go. (Basically, you just soak them for one day and then drain them and rinse them every 12 hours or so while you let them sprout. So easy!)
I’ve also set up a little yoga corner in my house. My bread bakes for 35 minutes in the morning, and you turn the oven down for the last 10 minutes, so my routine has been to do yoga for 25 minutes and then have shavasana for 10 minutes after I turn the oven down. There are tons of free yoga classes online right now. Usually I just turn on a playlist or some gentle drums and move on my own, but if I’m feeling ambitious, I might do a practice from this Arkansas yoga teacher. (Her accent reminds me of home.)
I’m also using the practices of lighting candles, diffusing essential oils and playing music to mark the different points of the day. Little tiny routines that remind me to stay in the present moment.
My last candle of the day marks a time of praying for those who are sick and for the ones who are helping people to heal.
Here are a few other things I’m grateful for at the moment.
A Quarantine Resource List
Books, of course. I finished Sensible Shoes and Wolf Whistle this week. I started Deep River this morning, and am still working my way through The Surrender Experiment.
I’m listening to this recording of a man playing a piano in a German coffee shop while I work. In addition to drowning out the noise in my house, it makes me feel like I’m in a coffee shop in Germany where someone is playing the piano. These are all three experiences I can’t have at the moment, so it’s sort of a fun mind trick. I heard about this recording in Austin Kleon’s newsletter, which is another fun resource in and of itself.
I’m finding myself drawn to sweeter movies at the moment. It seems like a season for rewatching old favorites. I have made everyone in my family watch the French films Un peu, beaucoup, aveuglément! and C’est Quoi, Cette Famille (They’re both on Netflix and both precious.)
We’ve also loved Onward and are in the middle of laughing through every episode of Kim’s Convenience.
Richard Rohr’s Daily Mediations are a breath of fresh air in the mornings. (I’ve especially enjoyed the Holy Week ones.)
And my friend Jane is sending out lots of new free mediations.
One of my favorite artists is telling stories behind her travel sketches. Plus she hosts a monthly sketching weekend online that produces all kinds of beauty.
I am enjoying listening to our pastor from Aberdeen preach from his office.
Our friend Chris Shelton is doing Facebook live concerts on Friday nights.
Looking at these photos of Jupiter is a beautiful dose of perspective.
Leigh Shulman is a writing coach and she’s sending her subscribers lots of free resources for writing during quarantine.
Back in February I hosted a letter writing course via email. That course is now available to download as an ebook if you want to catch up on some letter writing during quarantine.
Also I have unearthed the MOST massive stack of old postcards while cleaning out boxes, so if you want an old postcard with one of my favorite quotes written on it, send me your address (contact form at the bottom of that page) and I’ll pop one in the mail for you. (I’ll wash my hands first, I promise!)
What are your quarantine resources?
Sending love from my shelter to yours.