Spiritual Care and the Virus

It’s been a hellova year. A hell of a year. And here we are now again with Covid spiking at higher numbers than the initial rush in the spring, and higher than wave two during the summer. In Washington State we’re locking down again, including no gathering in homes with anyone who you do not live with.

Uggggh. Ugggh.

I watched Governor Jay Inslee give a press conference announcing the additional lock downs. While yes, yes, yes, I am thankful to live someplace where the officials are taking this virus seriously and still, after the press conference I had to do some therapy cooking. I boiled five giant beets for 50 minutes so I could peel them and dice them. I roasted a spaghetti squash, a delicata squash and a summer squash as well as a quart of mushrooms and two pounds of carrots.

As I cooked I calmed myself down with a little Gillian Welch.

Pretty soon the story of the pandemic settled itself in along side the stories of my ancestors. Gillian told so many stories of love lost, life gone a little wrong, people who have done wrong trying to do right that this seemed like just the trouble of our time. My mother who was born into the Great Depression and my father who as a youngster hid behind the couch in his North Minneapolis home when he heard about the bombing of Pearl Harbor. My grandfather who fled Eastern Europe conflict as a child.

We are living through a traumatic, terrifying time. It’s hard. It’s going on forever. And it’s getting worse.

Here’s what I learned from Gillian. I know we can do this. I know we can. We come from people who lived through stuff. STUFF.

Who are you, I mean who are you really? What lives in your heart? What is it you are absolutely called to do? What IS your thing to hang onto? You have strength. I KNOW you do. What does that strength flow from?

Join me in creating art even if it’s beautiful caramelized delicata squash. Listen to music that moves your heart . Take a cup of coffee back to bed if you can. Nap. Have a Zoom happy hour with your friends or a dance party on Skype. Write a note to your fifth grade teacher. Pick up trash in your neighborhood.

We can do this. I know we can. I know you can. I know I can.

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