Tuesday, June 1, 2021

...solitude and self-reflection- blooming where you are...


Black violas grown from seeds
Last week, on World Dracula Day with a full moon (which I couldn’t see because it always seems to be cloudy during full moon nights), a friend stopped by and gifted me with black violas that she grew from seeds. They weren’t supposed to be black viola seeds and she isn’t actually my friend. I don’t think we have had a one-on-one conversation by ourselves ever before that morning but it was a great chat and we have so much in common.

She contacted me on social media and let me know she was vaccinated. That’s important to me because if you know me in real-life, you’ll know that I didn’t physically leave my house for 100 plus days and my first outing was to an isolated cemetery. For another 300 days, I have limited all physical contact with people, and it’s been such a relief—no lies, no excuses about not wanting to go out because people are exhausting. As a professor, I walk in the classroom in my best extrovert guise but when I leave, I retreat to distancing to catch my breath. The pandemic has let me truly relax for the first time ever.  

The area around the spooky shed is filling in nicely.

Fourth of July roses
Coral Bells
The truth is- I don’t think I’m good at connecting with people when it isn’t work-related or organization-related. I’m amazing at building place, developing student engagement, and establishing community; I’ve conducted research on this. But when it comes to friends, I am not always good at reaching out.

If Brenda were here, Brenda- she’s my therapist. I often say WWBS (What would Brenda Say), she would ask me how this affects my life. I guess it gives me more time with plants? (enter half smile)

Black Mirror iris
Dracula's Kiss iris
For 445 days, I’ve been home and it has been a year of reflection and connecting with my dead women writers and my amazing garden that is starting to feel like a garden and less like the land that came with the house we bought almost three years ago. This week is our house anniversary!

Happy anniversary to our home!


  1. We are so different ... yet so alike in so many ways. Like you, I've been really cautious during this pandemic. I stayed home and away from people. We shopped online. We stayed inside when we couldn't go for outside walks -- double masked, of course! We are vaccinated and will only hang out with vaccinated people.

    Yet, this has KILLED ME. I am not an introvert. I thrive on social interaction. I love seeing people, talking to strangers, getting to know folks. I love commuting and people-watching. And museums! GAWDS! I miss museums. Staying home in isolation has wrecked my mental and emotional health. I'm only starting to feel better ... not great, but better.

    Sending love from Salem. The black violas are just divine! And Happy House Anniversary!

    1. I know- HUG! I feel terrible telling my extrovert friends how wonderful it's been for me. I've researched and written a book all during the pandemic! I've attended so many wonderful events online that I would have missed if they had been live. I wish I always had this much energy and enthusiasm. My anxiety kicks in just thinking about August when I have to return to campus... and public transit... and human in-person engagement... and, and, and....

      But I will also be happy to gather when it is my choice and it feels safe so I haven't gone agoraphobic just yet. Just last week I went to the dentist and in the office the one other client sat very near to me (more than 6 ft away but still) and proceeding to remove his mask to tell me how stupid and ineffective masks are so really, I just loathe most people and it's been nice to be away from THOSE idiots.

  2. Happy home anniversary! I am always blown away by the effort you put into your garden and the beauty of it!

    1. Thank you and thank you! It's my love language.

  3. Joyful houseiversary wishes, my dear fellow introvert. Thank you for speaking from the soul and sharing openly about who you truly are and how this profoundly challenging chapter in human history has impacted your life.

    Autumn Zenith 🧡 Witchcrafted Life