What’s normal?

It has been a long time since the last post. Too much has happened. There are no words to describe how sorry I feel that many people have had their lives irrecoverably changed. Jobs lost, businesses closed, friends or family members lost to an enemy we can’t see.

Some things that have changed in our world are deeply personal. I won’t be there when my son gets married. I miss my regular gatherings with my creative community. I have probably saved quite a bit of money, but I do miss browsing in book stores and garden shops. I miss having lunch with my sisters. I miss the long random dinner conversations with my son. None of it life-shattering, but disappointing none the less.

Now, in Canada, things are slowly moving back into place. There is talk of the “new normal”. I detest that phrase. It is used extensively in literature focussed on people who have experienced trauma or major medical procedures or are immune-compromised. I have been told for years, since the removal of my spleen in 2008 and a bone marrow transplant in 2011, that I would have to adjust my life to my “new normal”. My life and health are pretty stable, but there is nothing “normal” about it. It evolves and shifts. Change is constant, outcomes not always predictable.

Since early March, my daughter, her partner, and my 3 year old grandson have been living in isolation with us on the farm. California is home for them, so this has been a big adjustment for everyone. I am glad they are safe and appreciate having so much time with my grandson. We have planted seeds, read books, played with blocks and trucks and have made lots of apple crumble. He likes using my mechanical bobbin winder, so he winds bobbins while I weave. We go on adventures together, usually grocery shopping, wearing our masks and watching for construction equipment and big trucks on the way. Seeing life through the eyes of a small child is delightful.

Outside our bubble, lambs have been born, birds have built nests, seeds have sprouted and flowers brighten the garden. Nature is doing what it always does; surprises, delights and disappoints us daily. That is normal. In the human context though, I think that sometimes normalcy equals complacency. Embrace the opportunity for change, growth, and wonder. That is a “new normal” I can live with.