Sunday, July 19, 2020

;PANDEMIC DIARY - How I Spent My Sequester - Pt. 2 (b)

How I Spent My Sequester - Pt. 2(b) 

As the summer gets hotter but thankfully with 'dry heat' here in Ojai, my girlfriend and I still meet to hike-walk a few mornings each week.  The bike trail or on sidewalks in the town's tony neighborhoods are our most frequent early morning walks, but during this pandemic time when we all need a bit of spirituality, even those who are not particularly spiritual, the Krotona center overlooking the Ojai Valley, has become a special morning walk.

 Ojai, famous for its new age-y vibe and Krishnamurti's home and spiritual center, recently reported UFO sightings by residents during 2020's harmonic conversion celebration.  Friday, the Ojai Valley News, our local paper, ran a story on the front page, "above the fold," the headline of which was "Mass meditation held to summon ET to Ojai."  What a town!  Probably why Frank Capra filmed exteriors for his "Lost Horizon" Shangri-La movie here in Ojai.  So you can see why the most 'jaded' among us might seek out a walk-hike in a place filled with spirituality during this period of isolation.

Krotona is just one of several spiritual venues that include Meditation Mount, which overlooks the Valley from another POV with its beautiful gardens, yoga classes and other sessions.  I'll save that one for another blog.  Here are some highlights from the Krotona website:

"Krotona is an international center where residents aspire to live in mutual helpfulness while reaching out to share the profound truths of Theosophy. These truths can change one’s direction of life, bringing about renewal and harmony. With an emphasis on meditation, earnest study, and inspired action, Krotona promotes worldwide healing through the uplifting of human consciousness."

"As a spiritual center, Krotona seeks to inspire and strengthen aspirants for the opportunities of daily life. The peacefulness of the estate, which also serves as a sanctuary for wildlife, reflects the ideals of the resident TS members as well as the aspirations of committed faculty, students and other friends."

Besides, it's really a pretty place to hike-walk.

The estate also has two rose gardens, a library, meeting rooms, and rooms to rent for short stays as well as the many permanent homes.

I can't say I find a feeling of nirvana walking there, but it is pretty and lifts my sequester spirits.


Andrea R said...

Looks so lovely and peaceful, Lonie. I understand the hike/ in Flatland Coastal North Florida, no need even for the "hike" part....I just walk!

Robert Schmitt said...

It looks like a wonderful place and a very relaxing place to spend some time.

You do bring a lot of insight of 'Life in Ojai' to us living in the burbs.

Thanks so much and please keep them coming.

xo from your old 'hood.

Anonymous said...

According to the World Health Organization, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is spread primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is highly contagious and is spreading rapidly in North America.

As a result, President Trump and his Coronavirus Task Force have called for limiting gatherings to ten people or less. California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency. Many schools, restaurants, museums, theaters, amusement parks, and gyms are now closed until further notice.

So, I woke early one morning wondering about the availability of perishable and non-perishable food items. It was zero dark thirty when I left our home in Ojai and got into the car. The stars were out, and the moon and Jupiter showed brightly in the sky.

Not quite awake and knowing the local market did not open until 8:00 am, I headed down the hill to Ventura, where a WinCo is open 24/7, or so I thought. My plan was to get there after the shelves had been restocked but before the hoards arrived to denude them. I was in for a rude awakening.

I pulled into the WinCo parking lot at 5:45 am. The outside temperature was 37 degrees. I parked the car, grabbed my sturdy cloth shopping bags, and joined the queue of 50 people waiting in the dark for the store to open. I walked to the back of the line and asked, “Why the line?” One person explained from a discrete six-foot distance, “The store now opens at 7:00 am.” So much for getting there early!

Even though the folks in line were maintaining an appropriate distance from each other, I clearly heard them talk. One commented on being laid off at the restaurant where he was a server. He worried about his wife and two young kids and hoped he could get back to work and making good tips. Another lamented the lack of toilet paper and hoped WinCo had restocked its shelves. The person behind him quipped that “As the coronavirus grips everyone’s attention, normally sane people resort to the only way they know how to protect themselves — hoarding toilet paper.”

WinCo didn’t open until 7:20 am, and when it did, there were more than 200 people standing in line waiting to get their hands on – in this order – antiseptic wipes and a shopping cart. I felt as if the green flag had been waved to start the Indy 500.

Most of the shopping carts headed to the paper products aisle. I picked up staples, including flour, yeast, rice, dried beans, canned goods, and wine. Hey! Wine is a staple. Doesn’t everyone cook with a glass or two of wine?

By the time I maneuvered my cart to the toilet paper aisle, it was no surprise to see the shelves empty. I was determined not to go home empty-handed, so, being the resourceful person I am, I grabbed a few boxes of Kleenex from the next aisle and called it good.

I eventually found most of the things I came for and headed to the nearest checkout stand. As I bagged my booty, I realized I had forgotten to get eggs. When I got back to Ojai, I stopped at our local market to see if they had fresh eggs. One of my favorite cashiers told me the eggs had just been delivered and that I should not hesitate to grab a carton or two because they would go quickly. So, I grabbed two cartons and got an extra one for an elderly friend who is practicing “extreme social distancing.”

As I paid for the eggs, I was given a free roll of toilet paper — goodwill at its best. I gladly took the free roll and, when I got home, gave it and the carton of eggs to our elderly friend who accepted them with gratitude.

The pundits tell us that the COVID-19 virus will burn itself out in North America and that things will be back to normal in a few weeks. I’ll believe it when I see it. In the meantime, I’m staying away from big-box stores until I can shop without fear of being jostled. I am buying a take-out dinner from local restaurants twice weekly and praying that they can stay in business.

Most of all, I look forward to hugging friends and family once again. Chef Randy Graham

ilona saari said...

For all my readers - please post you sequester stories. Chef Randy is a fantastic vegetarian/vegan chef in Ojai--- loved his sequester story

JB said...

As my friend said. I’m living in Groundhog Day!!! I get up do chores, listen to MSNBC, read and the highlight of my day is going to my friend’s pool and do some social distancing water aerobics!! If I really want some heart stopping entertainment, I make my monthly trip to Trader Joe’s! Hopefully in November our world will change for the
Better!.....until then alarm sounds, and Groundhog Day begins!!!!

Anonymous said...

Artist Amy Lynn Stevenson:
I’ve used this time to really enjoy the simple life with my husband and 2 dogs.
We spend time everyday drinking coffee on our backyard deck and watching the hummingbirds duke it out over the feeders and splash in the birdbath. They are endlessly entertaining. Sometimes I roll my easel out onto the deck and paint outside. I started a series of Murals on the back side of the house.
I also have been compiling a series of my sketches on canvas into a coloring book, which I should have ready in the next few weeks. So I am finding time to get to those things that have artistically been on the back burner for me. I take a walk every day around my little neighborhood in Oak View. I wave at my neighbors everyday and chat from a safe distance. And I have learned that I need very little to be happy.