I am very excited to share our new online store with you. As many of you know, we temporarily (we thought) closed our retail gallery store, Gathering Tribes, on March 16th. After realizing that the pandemic was going to stay a while, after 29 years we realized that the closure had to be permanent. It wasn't an easy decision, but it was the right one for us.
The retail location had a lot of inventory that was built up over many years and I wish I had a magic wand to have it all uploaded now, but it's going to take a while. I hope that those of you familiar with the retail store will have patience with the process of photographing, measuring, weighing, describing and uploading each treasure that we offer.
As I write the description of each piece, I think about what one of our friends said to me during the closing sale, "I hope there is a way that you can bring the good energy to the website that you've brought to the store." I've done my best to tell folks the same thing here that I would have said in the store. I know it's not the same, but it's the best I can do.
Hopefully, you received the newsletter announcing the opening of Gathering Tribes online. If you didn't, please sign up now and we'll let you know of new items that are available and blog posts to find out if my husband, Michael Horse, and I will be setting up at shows and pow wows once we are all able to mingle again. And, of course, feel free to email me if you have any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a challenging time. Some of us have lost family and friends to COVID-19, including myself. Early on in March, I was praying for guidance on what this is all about. I realized that intelligent forces greater than us, perhaps Mother Earth, are letting us know we need to take a time out.
Here in California in the first several weeks of the shelter-in-place, the number of birds singing dramatically increased. With so few cars on the roads, the air cleared and the sky turned a color of blue that I hadn't seen since I was a child. It was wonderful to see the Chevron refinery near where we live stop emitting clouds of toxins and my family's respiratory and sinus issues cleared up for weeks. All over the world our non-human relatives made their way back into territories they had not felt comfortable being seen in for many decades.
I think we all enjoyed seeing the photos of a variety of animals in cities emptied of human activity. My favorite photo from that time is of a coyote lying down on the Golden Gate Bridge. After several weeks of not leaving her home, one of my friends told me that the birds she feeds began peering into her window. They had never done that before. We both like to think that they, and other creatures, have wondered what has happened to us, why have we stopped going out so much, and if we are alright.
In the last month or so, government officials told us here in the United States that it was time to "go back to work" and to go out to shop and dine to support the economy. In many parts of the country, officials also told the public that masks and social distancing were no longer necessary. As a result we have seen cases of the virus rise in alarming rates, the highest rates of infection in the world.
Once again, it seems that intelligent forces greater than us are communicating to us that humans are not in charge and that we have this time out to think about how we can re-imagine a world that is safe, sustainable and balanced, where we remember how to live within the laws of nature in order for the sacred system of life to safely continue. I hope that we are all spending some time imagining and pondering a vibrant and healthy world.
May we remain patient, safe, strong and healthy during this challenging time. Sending much gratitude to each one of you.