Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Coronacopia

Literally spending my days caring for kiddo and my nights planning for my household's resilience. Maybe I'm doing more than I have to, maybe it's not enough.

A few years ago, I told James I had a feeling. I told him to get our finances on a war footing, as much as possible. We discussed scenarios for saving and investing, and I bucked like a wild horse about putting money in the market.

I told him we should prepare for Depression-era levels of chaos. The last time I felt the winds changing so strongly was a couple of years ahead of 2008's crisis. I wish this intuition didn't make me sound mad as a March hare ahead of time, and I wish I knew how to channel it more usefully and helpfully.

It is a privilege to be able to prepare. I don't come from money, and my family has lost a lot in my lifetime. I've got a very real sense of what poverty is, and it drives me to batten down the hatches and brace for impact when I smell a storm coming. I'm using the resources at my disposal to meet the next moment, like a squirrel manically stashing acorns before winter takes hold.

I seek solace in my garden, but I'm planning for harvests now, too. My mind catalogs canned goods, files away the flow of groceries, does the math about calories and nutrients and what a toddler will eat. These are ancient instincts.

So, in this lockdown, I teach my child to read books and biology. I show him how to grow. I explain about the nice, green leaves that volunteer in our sandy soil, let him taste a victory garden, and have him help me nourish these little sprouts as I try to illuminate the essential contract of care between humanity and the natural world. Providing, at the most basic level.

Our hubris is deadly. We are animals above our station. I bring it all low again, into the dirt, as lofty financial instruments wobble eccentrically on high in the wake of microscopic malefactors.

So long as we breathe, we still have to eat.

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