Hello, from a small farm in Wisconsin. This is a personal update from me. I feel the need to be more real with you – in spite of the constant urge, as a business owner, to only show you the most polished parts of myself. That doesn’t actually solve anything here.
There are some incredible writers spinning personal, mythic, deep essays about their experiences in quarantine. This is not one of those essays.
I don’t have words for this. I’m scared, and hurt, and angry. I’m terrified that people I love will die.
We are living in intense times. Coronavirus is raging through our communities. Right now, we are all working on social distancing and isolating as much as possible. I’m close to many people who have asthma, trouble breathing, or other comorbidities with the virus.
It’s a very difficult time for my partner and I. Xe works in the food service industry, and so xe was laid off. I was laid off from my only W-2 income, and I’m also seeing a hit to my business earnings. The stimulus package may or may not include people who have lost work from freelancing. If it doesn’t, I’m fucked.
For years, I have wanted to get closer to the land.
When my parents offered to host us on their farm in Wisconsin, I said yes. Of course, my partner and I knew we needed to do this safely. Before we came out here, we isolated for over a week, and my parents have also been isolating. We made sure that we were not vectors of the virus, and took measures to protect my parents.
Part of this decision was, of course, financial: if we are all sharing food, space, and away from the city, we will be able to save a lot of money. We are keeping the apartment, but we’re cutting off our internet and all “unnecessary” expenditures. But the major upside of all of this? Going back to a more rural life, far from the crowded city, taking long walks in the country, and learning to garden.
I’m excited to watch as spring quickens into summer. The subtle changes that take over the land, the tumultuous riot of our fields, woods, the creek as they burst back to life. I am excited to practice more folk arts.
Last fall, when I attended the Nordic Women’s Conference in the Twin Cities, I connected with a group of Norse heathens working on understanding pagan conceptions of time as they relate to the land we live on. We studied the Primstav, a Norse folk calendar invented to help keep track of the saints days when the Scandinavian nations converted to Christianity. Hidden within the calendar is so much wisdom of how our ancestors lived, their folklore, what they focused on. As I circle closer to the land, I feel a deeper connection to the ancestors.
I want to have a place to write about this personal returning, and this blog seems as good a place as any. I’ll be writing more about how my partner and I help my parents prepare for the summer, about gardening, about the slowness of nature turning, and turning.
You can follow along, or not. I wish you well, wherever you are. Stay healthy, stay safe, and practice social distancing.