Editor’s note: Welcome to a new week, kittens. I pray and trust you’re finding your way and finding your peace, and I’m grateful you keep finding your way here in these most peculiar days.
Today, you are in for a special treat, courtesy of one of the kindest, coolest volunteers you will ever love. Going by the pseudonym “Kitty Le Fey,” she brings you warmth and wisdom and…well, I’ll just stop talking now. XO, AH
The edge. The brim. The brink. There are songs about living on it and being too close to it. Normally, we like it. Edgy is cool, fresh, different. We like it in art, music, movies. But, sometimes, rare times, life gets too edgy, and it feels precarious.
Remember hantaviruses? They spring up where human and rodent populations live edge to edge – fields, gardens, barns, notably Yosemite in 2012. We have been lucky. As yet, no hantavirus has made the leap to become broadly communicable between humans. That edge has held so far. We are not so lucky with coronaviruses. And, now, we find ourselves at the edge of medical information, equipment accessibility, hospital capacity, our own nerves, and we need to step back to take care of ourselves and our loved ones.
Mindfulness helps. Attentiveness to other things…anything…helps.
I would like to offer a few suggestions that may help us all back away from the edge, so we don’t go over. Here are some ideas for coping, for staying on the safe side, for staying healthy, hale, and hearty inside and out.
- Connect with your family. Reinstitute family meals where everyone helps in the preparation and sits down together. No phones. No distractions. Talk to each other. Listen attentively and actively to each other. Maybe break out those dusty board games afterward. Make snacks. It’s okay to have fun.
- Spend mindful time with your pets. Actively stroke, scratch, and massage them. Pay attention to what you are doing and how they respond. It’s okay to pet them distractedly while watching TV, reading, working, blogging. But try it the mindful way. (I’m trying to identify the precise spot on Loki’s tummy that makes her lick her chest.)
- Learn something new. It doesn’t have to be hard, but it should be something that requires focus, attentiveness. I’m learning broomstick lace crochet. The pattern I’m using is pretty easy, as long as I pay attention and don’t miss stitches. Crocheters and knitters know the value of a moving meditation. Find your zen. If not fiber craft, maybe jigsaws, crosswords, carving…any craft. Maybe borrow one from the kitties…knead. You have time to bake bread…or cinnamon rolls. My cousin and her kids made shrinky dinks.
- Breathe. Breathe deeply. Do it again. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Breathe with sound. Exhale completely, sharply. Let it out. Bring in another cleansing breath. Breathe.
The edge is a fine place when you creep up to it under your own volition, inspecting it on your own terms. It is thrilling, invigorating. But..humongous BUT…the edge can be a frightening, downright terrifying chasm when you are suddenly and forcefully thrust up against it.
Yet, no matter how you got there, no matter why you…we…are at the edge, it is in your power – our power – to…one…two…three…together: step back and breathe.
Rock on, kittens.