The crows have gone quiet. Last week, they were so active and vocal, but now I rarely hear them. I wish I could peek into the nest. Hopefully they’re sitting on speckled eggs, black eyes half-closed, taking a well-deserved slumber.
That’s what the beginning of the pandemic felt like for me. I know it was different for everyone, and for too many of us it was a tragic, awful time. But for my family, March of 2020 was the beginning of a much-needed quiet time in our nest. Yes, it was scary, but there was also a peculiar relief. We didn’t have to fight traffic, rush to school, work, or sports, arriving frustrated, sweaty, cranky, and tired. We didn’t have to rush at all. The house was our safe space, and our one job was to stay there. Together.
We were incredibly lucky. Not every family had this experience. Every day since the pandemic began, I have thought about the front-line workers thrust into the epicenter of this global trauma. Several months ago, I was walking my dogs and I saw a woman on her front porch wearing scrubs, taking off her sneakers before she entered the house. I shouted to her, “Are you a doctor or a nurse?” She replied that she was an ER nurse, and the fatigue in her voice was clear. I put my hand on my heart and said, “Thank you so much for everything you’re doing!” She nodded and went inside, not touching her reaching toddler until she could change out of her scrubs.
That nest had a mother who needed to leave, to walk straight into incredible danger, to do her best to help people. I went home feeling like I wasn’t doing enough. All I could do the entire year was stay home, keep my kids safe, and not spread the virus.
Now I’ve been given a small chance to give back. If you know a health care provider or first responder who is looking to process and share their pandemic stories through writing, I will be leading a free virtual writing workshop with a psychologist named Jonathan Stillerman as part of the ThingsTheyCarryProject.Org. We’ll meet online for three 90-minute workshops at 8:30 PM EST/5:30 PM PST on Thursdays, May 13, 20 and 27. To learn more and sign up to work with me, visit here and look for the May 13th date with my name on it. There will be seven people in my workshop, so space is limited. There are several fabulous workshop leaders, though, so if my class fills up, there will be others. Please share this with anyone you know who might like to participate. You don’t need to be a writer—just a human wanting to share and heal. And to those moms and dads, husbands and wives, friends and siblings who had to leave their nests to fight for our lives, we send you an eternal Thank You.