We live in uneasy times. This political cycle has left many of us felling like a raw, exposed nerve left flailing in the wind. Every brush of a breeze feels like an assault. It’s enough to break even the strongest of souls. It’s enough to make others stand up and fight.
There’s a time for all of it, retreat, fight, strategy, planning, standing still, standing tall, going within, joining together, stumbling, marching, sitting. All of it. Currently, I feel as if I’ve been knocked off me feet, firmly on to my backside, only to try to gain my footing as the ground below me sways and rumbles. Stumbling. As if I’m back in that same relationship, being gaslighted again. Only this time our entire nation is dealing with this.
I’m sorry this is new for so many of you. That feeling like you’re standing on constantly shifting sands? It doesn’t go away. You never get used to it. The constant feeling of seasickness? That sticks around, too. It’s exhausting, physically and mentally.
With my ass firmly planted on the ground (I’m OK with that), it has become clear that it’s time for me to allow myself to rest. I’ll fight. Eventually. For now, I need to take a minute and be still. I have to. For my own sanity and safety.
Often, I try to take my cues from the natural world around me. Animals I observe, plants, insects. I recently helped care for some Botta’s Pocket Gophers that had been washed from their underground burrows due to flooding. Gophers are secretive little mammals that spend up to 85% of their lives underground in the tunnels they dig, eating roots and tubers, keeping safe from predators. Their teeth are strong and they have been known to chew through concrete when needed. Not much can contain them when they don’t wish to be contained, and despite their cuteness, they are quick to fight when forced from their underground realm.
So, I’m going Gopher. I’m spending time in my own burrow, being still. Steeling my spine. Remembering to know myself. Re-learning what I need to learn. Creating. Gathering strength. Readying myself for the fight.
“In order to understand the world,
one has to turn away from it on occasion.”
― Albert Camus,