As the coronavirus pandemic continued to ravage the UK, and our lockdown showed no sign of easing any time soon, I began to worry that I was distancing from my witchcraft and pagan practices. Not that I practiced the craft specifically before lockdown. I find it is more of a feeling, a way of life, a set of habits that separate me from other people. Then I realised there is no right or wrong way to be a witch. The old meaning of this word relates to salt, being of the earth, being in service to others. Midwives were previously associated with witchcraft during the Dark Ages, because giving birth was dangerous and mysterious. We might understand the science of having babies nowadays, but it still takes skill and care to nurture a baby, give birth, and raise a healthy child.
And therein lies my witchcraft of today. Whether I like it or not, I have fallen into the profession of caring. I am the nurturer for my family. I am the sole parent, indeed the sole adult for my children during lockdown while their dad keeps himself busy at work. I cannot send them out to school, they cannot visit their friends’ houses or have sleepovers with their grandparents. I am their everything. I feed them, support them, keep them clean and healthy, and try to entertain them. I persuaded them to help with my recent home renovation projects which have been ongoing since we moved house two years ago. They enjoyed stripping wallpaper and painting the walls for a little while. The children have helped with some home baking projects, but they refuse to try home cooked meals. We have worked in the garden, tidying borders and replanting flowers. We get through one day at a time, living in a bubble, separated from the rest of society. I hope there is an end in sight for lockdown. I cannot parent alone any longer.
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