For the past ten years I’ve attended a music camp every summer. Most of those years it’s been the Swannanoa Gathering, a wonderful Brigadoon-like environment of music and friendship that takes place in the foothills of North Carolina. Due to Covid-19, all of the music camps have been canceled and we campers are reduced to reminiscing on Facebook.
One of my fellow campers posted this on her personal blog and I thought it was so beautiful I asked her permission to repost a portion of it here. Amy Bogard is a gardener and an artist and this love of nature is reflected in these words.
The Moon is new in Cancer tomorrow (July 20, 2020) giving us the opportunity to turn within and deepen into our own feelings. Jupiter harmonizes in a sextile to Neptune this week, expanding imagination and creativity. Creative regeneration is what’s required in these times as we rebuild our inner worlds in new and wondrous ways.
I am grateful it is spring time. It is good to walk and watch the wild world come alive. A normal spring time here would see my work year ramping up into full gear. Today I was due to be waking up in California, ready to find the weekend’s sketching spots for the upcoming weekend. Well, we all know how that panned out.
And I would usually be chomping at the bit to get back to the Land of Enchantment for a taste of big skies and grand ideas and the feeling that anything is possible. That is Taos for me. But, alas.
A thousand tiny griefs.
It is a difficult balance in this strange new era of corona to make space for all the grief. We as a culture are so quick to categorize the griefs and the joys as big or small, important or trivial – at any given time. And here’s the thing, we don’t know what one thing or another might mean to any other person but our own true selves. The joy of a new sunrise to one person might be equal to the birth of a child to another. Circumstances differ. We must make space for what that sunrise means to that one person on that very day.
I think the same holds for grief. There is so much of it just now. But it does us no good to hold one grief up against another for comparison. Better to just allow. and honor. All of it. It’s hard to do. I’ve been heartbroken this last week or so with the cancellation of not only my Taos work, but the magical week of Swannanoa as well. I had a good long snot cry over each of these in the bath, I’ll be honest. I’m doing my best to honor these losses, to give them space, even while I read the headlines of the death toll mounting, and hear stories of the front line from my sister and her co-workers.
All of it is heart breaking. We must make space.
And we must compost this grief and cultivate joy in this space.
It can feel a bit like a roller coaster of emotions of late. I was saying to a friend the other day that if this time teaches us nothing else, it is giving us lessons in the notion of being as fully present as possible in each and every moment. We don’t know if the things to which we look forward will actually come to fruition. It is a new horizon in tech as we all try to connect real time with our beloved communities and families. I can say for the record that the incorrect connecting device for one’s computer might actually drive one to tears (again) and another lost connection is added to the list of a thousand griefs.
And so how to navigate? …
We are here for a while it would seem and every day brings new challenges. Like everyone I am learning to sit with it all. Learning to get my head up in the clouds when needed to get a 30,000 ft view over it all for some perspective. As the weather improves the garden will go on, giving me focus. I can get out into the back room (currently under construction) to play some music perhaps. I’m being more mindful in the last week or so as to what I say yes to. This to give space to the grief that is and the grief that is to come. And the joy.
I am trying to see all of this as the space I have been craving for awhile now. But I do miss my friends. Especially the musical ones.