Recently, I rediscovered an old book of poems written by Edgar Guest, given to me by my mother-in-law. She read this poetry to her own children and passed it down to me for mine. So, sitting at our kitchen table with a space heater at our feet during our “hunker-down” time, I started reading them to my kids. With my mind heavy over the national and global turmoil surrounding the coronavirus, I was gripped by a section of verse from a poem called “Fear.”
“I am man’s cruelest, bitterest foe,
Yet past his door I could not go,
Had he the wit to tell me; ‘No’.”
As a community, we may be embarking on uncharted ventures with social distancing, stay-home orders, and virtual schooling and work- but we mustn’t forget that we don’t have to bite on the carrot of fear. We don’t have to believe everything we hear or pair our emotions with every news broadcast. We can resist the temptation to open the door when fear stands at the threshold and knocks. You and I don’t have to let fear into our homes.
So here we sit in April, likely at home, working, schooling, and living in a way that had been previously alien to us. With all of us spending so much time at home, we may well be bursting from cabin fever and rearranged schedules and noise and distraction. The quintessential image of the home as a sanctuary for rest might seem like a distant dream. Maybe you’re slumped over like the man on the cover- spent. Take heart.
In this month’s issue, our stories span a range of topics surrounding homes and current events. We aim to share, encourage, and to help you finesse your way through this period of reclusion.
In her masterful way, Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan’s piece, A State of Heart, moves us away from defining “home” as a mere location and portrays it as an inner-peace that grounds her. Her beautiful writing carries us through highs and lows to an unexpected place now called “home.”
Next, Frank Baker shares insights into approaching COVID-19, with his methodology for keeping safe. Then, an expert in all things related to local hiking, he shares of his experience maneuvering a tricky area of the east fork of the Eklutna Valley. For those of you who are eager to get out and hike your way through the social distancing period, this read may save you some trouble on a nuanced hike.
With children at home, many people are learning what it’s like to homeschool for the first time. Meghan Wotring’s next article seems particularly timely. With her focus on how to use space at home for school and how to organize the day, let her offer you ideas as you figure out how to facilitate learning for your children. And let’s all give ourselves a healthy dose of grace right now as we seek the right pattern for the new normal!
Finally, a piece this month about wisely integrating firearms into your home defense plan. With many people rushing out to buy guns and ammunition right now, let’s take the time to learn how to exercise our 2nd Amendment rights with wisdom and proper training.
So with all of the working, schooling, stocking, handwashing, and defending going on within our homes, let’s also practice good housekeeping. Let’s keep our homes sweet, free from fear, and full of gratitude. It will go a long way to promote health and happiness. Maybe more than hand sanitizer. And maybe more than toilet paper. Lots, and lots of toilet paper.
Let’s welcome in the good this April.
All the best,
Stephanie L. Blake
Editor, ECHO Magazine