Back in October, I began writing a poem/prayer about covid, to grieve and honor all that we’ve lost and to put feeling into words. But I couldn’t finish it. Because we hadn’t transitioned through it (thousands more would still die). Because my words would be imperfect. Because the lack of quiet and solitude limit my ability to fully collect my thoughts. Because I am only starting to emerge, slowly from a covid-induced hibernation and freeze. Because I wanted the help of others to write it. I dreamed of this poem as a communal poem. Maybe that will still come.
Today is the new moon in Aquarius, and as a facilitator of the Wild Woman Project Circles, we close out our previous month’s theme. This past month, as a community, we explored the theme Love Builds (ie what has love built, or is needing to build, in your life?) I wanted to write the poem for the past month – maybe love could finally help me get the words right. But no….still no….….
Instead, love built and maintains our little community – women’s circles, death cafes, our sexuality counseling spaces, our Sex Nerd book club, and permaculture spaces. I am honored to facilitate offerings that create safe spaces for challenging topics (ex. death and sexuality) that allow people to go deeper into themselves and be met by others with curiosity and love. I am touched by the shared wisdom and connections made during events that inspire, with impacts that move beyond the moment into lives, families, and broader communities. I am humbled to be received by so many creative, fascinating, eccentric, loving, fierce, and change-making people. I am grateful that our virtual gatherings allow for connections with friends now far away (like a friend in Oregon that I haven’t seen since 2013/4?, when I lived in Atlanta; what an incredible gift). I notice the efforts to check in with one another within our community, by the sharing of resources or information. I melt when I get an email from someone from an event months ago (“Remember me?”, of course I do – and that is what so many of us want, to be remembered).
I am so thankful for all of you – when just showing up for yourself and Being is enough, to make time and space for community, during our covid-challenged times is striking.
Love builds a community through the scaffolding of empathy, vulnerability, curiosity, kindness, compassion, and care. It eases loneliness and creates a sense of belonging to something/someone beyond yourself, which we all crave and need to maximize our well-being (ex Why Social Relationships Are Important for Physical Health: A Systems Approach to Understanding and Modifying Risk and Protection – PubMed (nih.gov) and Increased risk of mortality associated with social isolation in older men: only when feeling lonely? Results from the Amsterdam Study of the Elderly (AMSTEL) – PubMed (nih.gov). And as a social species, community is the functional unit – it is where resilience, purpose, family – by birth or choice, love, worth, cooperation all happen.
Maybe in some ways, a community built by love is a lived poem. Maybe our community is my covid poem.
What has love in the time of covid built for you? How has your community adapted with the covid-induced challenges?
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Written by Dr. Allison Mitch, PT (DPT); copyright protected, please cite accordingly. Originally posted to social media on 2/11/21. Image is from Pexels. Interested in working with me?, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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