This morning we are packing up to leave paradise and return to a changed city. Living in the moment has always been easier on Valdes and yet even here I have been navigating intense emotions. 
I received an email from our friend Paolo in Northern Italy to let me know that he is safe. His only advice, echoed voices broadcasting from all over Italy: “follow the isolation rules, we didn’t.”  
I am left with the unsettling realization that I cannot convince even some of my close friends to do this. So many people bend or break the rules that don’t work for them. 
At least our small community on Valdes has been social distancing well. Each afternoon, if the weather permits,  a small group of us meet on the beach at a safe distance to drink a beer and listen to the daily briefing of the provincial Health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. Dr. Henry, we are listening. 
 There is such a close relationship between fear and anger. When something feels wrong, and it definitely does, I want to blame and become  enraged by the actions or inactions of others. Underneath the anger, I am anxious and scared of what is to come. 
As Dr. Henry says, “Be kind, be calm, be safe.”

Nettle Soup and homemade bread. 

Rough skinned newt

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