The world has the novel coronavirus. The pandemic is serious, spreading, and causing major disruption.
Many of us have been sent home from work, hopefully to work remotely but, for the less fortunate, simply to tough it out. And in our non-work time, we have hours and hours of empty space we might otherwise fill with gatherings, events, outings and activities.
It’s damned inconvenient, at best; at worst, it’s going to be deadly for some of us. I had to cancel a trip to the Midwest to a Pagan convention, which was fortunately subsequently deferred until September, so I hope to be able to go then.
But as the Chinese know, a crisis also presents an opportunity*. It is not often in our lives that we will have so much time unspoken-for.
Yes, there is caring for family members. And maybe for you, those hours are filled with demands on your attention and energy.
But some of us, at least, have time to turn to back-burner projects, to artistic expression…and, if you’re inclined, to our religious path.
There are a lot of things we can do to feed our hearts and minds during this time. Walks in nature are safe; go visit a local park and take a hike. Find a pretty spot and take in the view, remembering you are a part of all this, that the circle of life is turning, even now.
What’s your creative outlet? Writing, painting, collage, ceramics, sculpture, gardening, cooking? You could work on a piece, a plot, or a dish dedicated to your devotion to the Earth, or the feeling of this particular, scary time.
Clean, reset and rededicate your Focus, or altar. It IS Spring, after all, and time for a good cleaning.
Think about how you can celebrate the vernal (or Spring) equinox with your household. An egg-dying day, perhaps, followed by a group hike?
Times of crisis are when people generally pull together. It’s tougher this time because a part of what we have to do to pull together is to stay apart. But this crisis brings opportunity, like any other. Perhaps now is the time when we can deepen our practices and fold more richness into our lives.
As for myself…besides writing the blog, moderating the Facebook group, and launching the new podcast with Arwen Gwyneth, I’m starting to outline a new book on living the Atheopagan life. As I conceptualize it currently, it will be a journey through the year with ritual themes and activities, craft projects, recipes, poetry, etc. to help Atheopagans to develop and flesh out their practices. I have no idea when this book might be done, but it feels good to start it.
So think about it: can coronavirus isolation be a sort of “spiritual retreat” for you? We have this time—let’s use it as productively as we can.
*The Chinese ideogram for “crisis” is literally a combination of those for “danger” and for “opportunity”.