(written March 2020*)


Symptoms are most severe in the old.

First, on the tongue and lips
the aching
tang of salt water
though it’s been years since you visited the ocean.

to swell
bigger and
bigger until the body
can no longer contain it.

There are dreams
day and night
of roots spreading from your hands and feet
down into neglected earth,
tendrilling out to meet
the rooting of friends and strangers,
the web of all those you cannot touch
but grasp, now, that you love
and need, and they you.

The limbs can become
restless as they wake
from their senseless sleep,
realizing their power
as if for the first time.
There is a sense of urgency:
What have we been
doing until now?
What is ours to do?

a band of tightness across the chest
that is ancient
and needs tending
with deep breaths
and rest,
with a new gentleness
and curiosity towards one’s own being,
fragile and infinite.

There are reports
of interesting coincidences in timing:
the urge to quietly shut the door
some weeks before it was required.
A turning inward.
A turning outward.
A letting go.
The resolve to be oneself at last.
Feeling very small and very large.

As if we knew it was coming,
especially the young among us,
who, though without visible symptoms,
are most deeply affected:
awake, on watch, alight.


*and, no, neither I nor any of my family are actually infected by the coronavirus!
But I am hopeful for a different kind of infection for us all globally, once this is past.



4 Responses

  1. I find myself in tears, as an awakened quiet recognition quickly binds my heart to yours. I am all joy in stillness, my love. Grateful for this contagion.

    • Our roots entangled. Your resonance and response mean so much to me, Krystal. Hoping and praying we come out of this awake, aware of our interconnection and of this big wide world’s pain and need for us all to step up. Love to you! <3

  2. Beautiful piece, Rachael. Thank you for sharing!

    I love how root networks nourish a vast number of trees, all while being underground, unseen. Most humans are separated right now, spending most time inside and out of sight – but we can still find ways to provide life-giving community to one another. We can still be resilient.

    • Thanks, Chelsea!
      I love your thoughts on the hidden, unseen, yet solidly real nature of roots. Lovely. <3

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