Years ago I remember laughing with my friend, Patrick, when he referred to preparing for winter as “squirreling up”. I had never heard that term before and I loved it. I was also amused by the the idea of “hunkering down” in order to wait for a big storm or long winter. Somehow, I felt these terms took me back to simpler yet dangerous times in the early prairie life of the Colorado pioneers. In my mind, I imagined how these pioneers needed to be prepared for any situation, surviving through droughts, blizzards, and disease by making the most of family ties and a close knit community.
Fast forward my thoughts to Labor Day 2020. My friend, Tracey, and I were walking for the first time in weeks. The air quality was suppsed to be moderate but I had my doubts. Greeley was being invaded by smoke from near by wildfires in the Colorado Rockies as well as smoke traveling east from the west coast. We were talking about all the intricacies of education during the pandemic when we noticed we were being rained on by ash. Ash in our hair, on our clothes, and ash beginning to cover the trees. By the time we left the park, the sky had turned from slightly smokey, to a blazing orange before going dark as night by around noon. If I had been living in the middle ages I would have proclaimed Armageddon was nigh. It most certainly felt like it. 2020 has brought us a global pandemic, civil unrest, and a continuation of weather gone even more wonky than the past several years. So, it is of littke suprise that on Labor Day eve I did not want to get ready for school the next day. I stated out loud ” I just want to squirrel up and hunker down!” Besides, I knew we were going to go from 100 degrees and smoke to a snow storm in less than 24 hours. Time to squirrel away!
After my mini fit about life in 2020, I put on my big girl pants, channeled my pioneer ancestors, who saw far more devestaion than I ever have, and realized that I do need to hunker down. Not out of fear or retreat, but because I need a place to recharge and face the challeges at hand. My home is homebase for operation ” Laura shows up for others”. It is a pretty simple operation. I just show up. I show up for school, for Rosary, for family and friends. I need to believe that in this time of rapid change, showing up is a step towards healing a very broken world.
I am actually very excited to see the evolution of humanity. Sudden change is unnerving, and outright scary sometimes. I do not have any idea how many months or years we will see unrest before we realize that we need each other and are far more connected than we ever imagined. The past has shown us that things can get pretty darn ugly before a new and better age dawns. Yet, it does not have to be doom and gloom. We are co- creators in our world and we can bring positive change with our actions. That is why I know realize that my home is very important right now. It is a sanctuary from chaos, a place to recharge at the end of the day as well as finding strength before heading out into the world. It is a place to dream, imagine, and plan for ways to support and uplift others.
Now that I think of it, squirreling up and hunkering down is just as much for others as it is for myself. I like the thought of that.
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Until next time,