Sunday, March 22, 2020

Staying grounded

Planting a promise

This weekend, my husband joined me at StarField Farm for a desperately needed respite. He has been working non-stop for the past 3 weeks, both tending to patient needs at the hospital and readying his department to respond to the covid-19 pandemic.

The information coming at all of us is overwhelming, changing moment by moment, requiring us to adapt even as we are reeling from what we already have learned.

It has been even more so for the medical staff, who are literally on the front lines of an invisible war.

When he arrived Friday night, his face was haggard and pale. His eyes were dull. I have never seen him so exhausted. When we hugged, I could feel him clinging to me and we spent a long several moments just feeling our hearts synchronize. It was all I could do not to cry. 

For the past two days, we have kept the news off, choosing to listen to music instead of NPR. While neither of us could entirely keep away from social media or our phones, we tried to do what we always do at the farm: measure time by the ticking of the wood stove and the passage of the sun across the sky.

Today, we cleared one of the garden beds from the remains of last year's vegetables and covered the soil with a dark weed block material. The idea is to heat the earth and keep the weeds from sprouting before we've had the chance to plant the garden.

After that, Neil planted some flowers near the house.

It was a beautiful day - cold, but clear and bright. The work was simple and physically engaging. For the most part, we were side by side, but silent. Content. Comfortable.

After dinner, he packed his bag and drove back to Boston. Back to the responsibilities of a physician and department chair. Back to the concerns of life and health and worrying if his staff has sufficient protective gear to do their work as safely as possible.

I will remain in isolation at the farm.

There is more than enough work for me here preparing for the growing season ahead. It is a distraction, but more than that, it is an act of faith.

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