Stay Open

When I returned from my trip to Nebraska, I checked out a group of mysterious cabbage-like plants in our garden.  Looking closer, I discovered underneath the lush green leaves a whole collection of tiny Brussels sprouts.   How could this be?  I do remember planting seeds months ago, but thought our rabbit visitors had wiped them out.  It was a heart-warming surprise tucked within a time of such deep uncertainty.

On Monday evening, our board of directors voted to close the Seed for at least two weeks.  Although we wanted to stay open for our families who needed child care, we decided the potential risk to staff and children outweighed the offering of service.  Tuesday morning I began my self-imposed stay-at-home retreat.  One of the first things I did was set up a schedule, knowing that without it, I’d be “creatively” drifting from one thing to the next all day long. 

Here’s my schedule:
5 AM – wake up/meditation
6 AM – exercise
7 AM – breakfast/ morning prep
8 AM – Seed work
10 AM – art
11 AM – clean/organize
12 PM – lunch
1 PM – Seed work
3 PM – garden/yoga
4 PM – art
5 PM – cook/food prep
6 PM – dinner
7 PM – relax
9 PM – bed time

I have to say it has saved me.  I do veer from it occasionally, but mostly it’s kept me on track.  My schedule has increased my efficiency, especially with school work, knowing I have art or gardening to look forward to later in the day.  I also think there’s value in consistency, and some components, such as morning exercise, have helped me feel connected to my previous life.  

In addition to my schedule, a practice I’ve added is intentional reaching out to others, especially to our incredible Seed staff.  We met on Monday, not knowing the direction our work would take, and quickly began shifting our approach to teaching.  At our meeting, I reminded the staff of a teaching I’d received from my mentor, the late Ralph Peterson:  “If you don’t know, make it up.”  Historically, it’s been a Seed theme for decades, and now is a good time to put it into practice.  Danielle and I continue to work closely, as do members of our Seed teaching team.  We are in the process of establishing ways to connect with each other and our families.  Through this process, I have seen over and over respect for each other, openness to questioning, deep listening, and willingness to be helpful.  

We don’t know the outcome of the days and weeks ahead, so we’re daily doing what we think is most beneficial for our students, families, and each other.  We don’t have all the answers, but we care immensely for our Seed community and will do our best to keep sustaining it in these challenging times.  Like the little Brussels sprouts growing in my garden, each day is filled will small acts and experiences that provide inspiration to keep going.  As things are closing down around us, I invite you to stay open to these little moments.   I leave you with this quote from Seth Godin that showed up this morning:

We only get it once.
Why waste it?
We can spend it in fear, or we can create possibility for the next person.
We can spend it alone, or we can create digital but real connection with someone else.
It only takes a day to make change happen.
The ocean is made of drops.    

—Seth Godin