by Amber Jensen
Tendrils of what is going on in our world are tightening their twist around the daily workings of our lives. Things we once held as mundane and thoughtless have now morphed into things to plan and possibly not even do at all. We have been told not to stockpile but to stock up. Stay out of public places and that some humans are essential in their workplace while others are not. We have experienced loss, cancellations, and some are owning grief right now. The energy of fear and anxiety hangs in the air at the grocery store, gas stations and in parking lots.
This is what is happening right now. As we move through what this looks like for all of us it can be a time of worry and uncertainty. This place of limbo and uncertain expectation can hold us its grip or we can pry ourselves loose. Sometimes the prying is too much and we rest in the space of unknowing and confusion.
It’s been weeks now that I’ve been home with my family. My husband is working from home and we are beginning to fall into a routine, a rhythm of life in isolation. This realness is seeping through the cracks that opened up when the shock of it all first hit.
At first it felt as though I didn’t have enough time in the day to do all the things that needed done. Children needed to do lessons, carefully put together by their loving teachers. My husband needed to work without distraction, in a house filled with laughter, yelling and chaos. I needed to write and create, but my mind wouldn’t slow down enough to allow me to breathe. It took a few days of busy hands and baking but I soon felt less burdened and more alive with possibility.
In the first weeks of isolation I have spent more time in my kitchen that I ever thought possible. I’ve baked breads and muffins, made sauerkraut and baked cookies. I’ve kept myself so busy that I felt I might crash into exhaustion.
Resilience comes into play as a soft glow which brightens the more we lean in to what is actually so. As I observe my children, taking each day as it comes, knowing there is unknown and uncertainty of which they could be fearful and standing up to the task of living anyway -I’m seeing resilience. I’m seeing resilience in the neighbors I call weekly to see how they’re doing and in the friends who send raw texts about their struggles.
We are living through an epic triumph of sorts and although there is no great war to be fought, we are all truly in this quest together. Countries and states have essentially shut down. The feeling on social media is one of united effort.
We don’t fully know what we’re fighting or for how long we’ll need to nonviolently battle this thing. We’ve been given timelines and projections. We’ve been told to ‘shelter in place’ and ‘stay home stay healthy.’ All of this and still the days move on, each one adding to the number of cases and deaths. Each one ripe with the possibility of what we choose to fill it with.
This rollercoaster of emotions can be more than any person should bear. And yet, here we are, standing in solidarity, spreading kindness whenever we can and in whatever capacity 6 feet of space allows us.
Human beings are incredible creatures. We have never in our history been this socially connected during a global crisis. And never have we all had similar experiences of such crisis. Many of us around the world are in our homes now, day in and day out, hoping we are making a difference for the greater good.
There is a lot of sorrow if that’s what you choose to look for. Pain and suffering have their own flavor. There is also a lot of joy, curiosity and wonder. People are sharing sourdough starts and recipes. The Victory Garden is making a comeback. Families are supporting local businesses and farmers. We’re cooking and baking, playing games and reading together. Grandparents are video calling their grandkids and neighbors are stepping up to help their neighbors. Through all of this strife and pain there is building an undercurrent of healing and transformation. The human spirit is calling out and people are connecting in ways that feel real and honest. Goodness is everywhere we choose to see it.
In 36 years of life I’ve never felt such an overwhelming presence of global love and suffering at once. I have not seen great wars or great crisis but I’m seeing this, I’m living this, I’m present to this.
If I dare say it, the silver lining of this pandemic is the great sense of united global community and love.
If my children have one takeaway from the sacrifices we are all making right now I hope they will see that we were completely and utterly in this together.
Amber is a mother, wife, writer and dirt road philosopher. She hales from small-town Idaho and makes her home on a spread of dirt in Eastern Washington with her husband and four wild children. She is dedicated to a life of contribution and finding the pieces of our journeys that connect us all in our greatness.
The imperfect and incomplete nature of life is often overwhelming and stifling. By choosing it and owning it, Amber has taken some of the dirtiest situations and spun them into lessons to live by. Her greatest inspirations are her children and their dirt antics. Learn more about Amber by visiting