This may be the perfect time to cultivate a hearth. As our travels are canceled, conferences postponed, and we are closed off from our regular routines, where can we turn? Social distancing protocols to reduce the spread of the coronavirus create massive disruption, and also time to pause, breathe, and move forward mindfully.
If you are not on the front lines, bravely using skills and wisdom to treat those who are ill, you may find yourself with more discretion about where you focus your attention.
Nourishment, safety, renewal can be found at your hearth. A hearth feels good. If we are fortunate, we have a source of warmth and sustenance, one that we can relax into for rest and renewal when our work is done. Perhaps your personal sanctuary right now is a soft place to land, whether home base or a temporary shelter. Perhaps it is a garden, or a wood stove, or an online experience. Your hearth, is your hearth. Breathing a sigh of relief, we settle at our hearth for a brief respite. What a source of comfort in these unsettling, anxious times!
This may be a perfect moment to tend your own version of hearth. It comes in many forms. Think of where you are most yourself, most comfortable in your own skin. The place where you belong. One friend calls it her “happy place.” At the center of our energetic activity and joyful moments is our hearth — steady, stable and supportive.
Do Hearths Matter?
Making a sacred fire was a very important ritual long ago, symbolically and literally. With our microwaves and central heating, most of us don’t have sacred fireplaces in our homes, but the need for personal renewal and connection to deeper meaning remains. Hearths can be created where we can make them. And surely, during a national emergency such as this is a time when we need them most.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our collective understanding of safety. Cultivating one’s own hearth matters. Your hearth is your own source of peace, your source of warmth and aliveness. This is a critical tool in maintaining your wellbeing. Hearths center us, safely connecting us to strong forces of fire and power within. In ancient cultures, offerings were made at the hearth to higher powers. Personal prayers and gifts were offered to focus, center, and to speak what really matters. Hearth is both physical and figurative in its definitions.
Your hearth may need to be temporary in times of transition. Perhaps lighting a candle, pulling close special keepsake objects, appreciating or creating art, or sitting in nature — such nurturing rituals can serve as your temporary hearth. Your hearth may be where you dwell, or by a stream, or within your inner landscape. Today we can return to the hearth for wisdom, strength, and comfort.