Maybe it’s a hangover from celebrating Imbolc earlier this week and the lengthening of the days. Maybe it’s those crazy daffodil shoots that are poking up through the ground, pushing through the hard soil with its light dusting of snow. Maybe it’s the incessant ringing of the wind chimes that hang on the deck, but something is stirring.
This afternoon I got off my fourth Zoom workshop of the week- which sounds like more of a drag than it was- especially since this one was small enough to be interactive. We had breakout groups which allowed me to have a real conversation with another human being I didn’t know, as if we were sitting next together in a room. Remember that? Heaven.
Each of the things I have signed up for this week have fed a different part of me. A song circle with Saro Lynch, where we silenced our mics and taught one another songs and experimented with what passes for singing “together” over Zoom in the time of pandemic. A truly inspiring story facilitation workshop with Joe Lambert from Story Center, which is one of my favorite organizations that does thoughtful, ethical, deep work around digital storytelling, A fun and informative field trip about marketing strategy with Creative Mornings. And a 4 week offering for “older” entrepreneurs through Asheville SCORE.
I don’t usually take so many classes in one week, but suspect I was feeling a little stuck and isolated when I signed up. One of the things that I miss so much during this pandemic is feeling that juicy collaborative energy you get when working with people on projects, or meeting folks at a networking event or conference. It has been physically dangerous for us to be together for close to a year now and I think I have underestimated how deeply that has affected me.
So when I got off of the call, my husband and I took our dog on a slightly different path today for our walk. It’s one of the things we’ve been doing since COVID, exploring streets in our neighborhood, or hikes we’ve never taken before. Just trying to shake up what sometimes feels like a dulling routine. As we walked into these not too distant woods we stumbled into a magical spot, full of evidence of beings at work. Beavers. Daming the mountain stream. Cutting down trees both large and small. Letting the chips fly where they may. A creative community, nestled between two highways, working busily this winter.
What a lovely reminder of the “hidden” work that is happening all around us. If we hadn’t decided to change our walking routine we wouldn’t have seen it. If we hadn’t have been curious when we first saw the dam, would we even have paid attention to the gnawed trees? I don’t think the jogger we passed with his headphones on saw them.
I am so grateful to everyone out there, human or not, who are so passionate about what they do, that they are driven to share it with others. To the Zoom meetings and workshops. To all those gleaming white wood chips lying on the forest floor.