I am sitting on my old broken desk chair at my laptop perched on a desk Steve got from a house he was working on. The fire is slowly dying down in the woodstove, which is the only source of heat here besides a little infrared heater we have in the bedroom for at night.
In going through my clothes, I noticed only one clean pair of underwear remaining. I was hoping for a hot shower after my run, and some clean pajamas, but alas, the shower had decided it wasn’t in the mood to produce hot water, only cold. The cold actually felt good, so perhaps it was the way it was supposed to be today.
When I went to start dinner, the fridge held a bit of leftover chicken and steak, an onion and a pound of ground beef from a neighbor. A few spices on the shelf, along with a can of diced tomatoes, pinto beans and a tiny bag of rice left over from a long ago meal delivery sounded like a good meal option for tonight. As I diced the onion, dropped in a bit of garlic and olive oil, I noticed there wasn’t a lid to the dutch oven I was hoping to use.
In another day, even a few months ago, each of these things might have been a source of frustration or anxiety, as I rushed about the day or evening trying to fit in every activity. But today, in the quiet of the cabin, during a pandemic induced quarantine, they feel normal and perfectly fine.
The cabin is a place of refuge. It has been remodeled to still be rustic, but has many modern amenities. Hot running water, satellite internet and electricity have made this the place I want to spend time. It used to be just weekends, or a random afternoon. Now I am staying here on the regular. With no real place to be, I have found the peace and quiet I need here to work, run, read, practice yoga and just think.
My grandma always used to talk about making do. It is what we do when we are here. If we don’t have something, we figure out a way to make it work. I rinsed out some clothes in the sink and hung them on the line outside to dry. A cold shower was just what I needed today. The lid from the ash bucket next to the wood stove was a perfect fit for my dutch oven (scrubbed up of course!). My little desk and rickety desk chair are a perfect place to work and write. I don’t feel like I am missing a thing here. Everything exists to make do (with just a little ingenuity). The peace and calm I find here is so worth the lack of any of the luxuries that are part of my regular busy life.
Catch your breath, meditate, stay healthy-mind and body…..get your sleep, stretch…and enjoy this brief interlude from normal life. We will talk about this in years to come, remind our children and grandchildren of “that time we were quarantined when the virus hit”. During this time, let’s focus on how to make do as best we can. You don’t need to write the next New York Times bestseller, build a business, or teach your four-year old to read. You need to take care of yourself and those you love, in the best way you can. We can do this! We can make do with what we have available at this moment.
Oh, and the resulting soup? Well it was amazing….