Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Laurel Woodward, author of the new Kitchen Witchery.

2020 was a year of change. As COVID raced across borders causing millions to become ill, countries shut down. COVID shut down economies. It shut down schools, restaurants, and gyms. It caused an entire “new normal” as business models shifted to work from home. I doubt there is a single person, perhaps on the entire planet, whose life was not affected in some way or another.

But 2020 wasn’t all bad. One silver lining to come out of the shutdown was that it caused a large portion of the populous to slow down and reinvent their lives. No longer did we have to wake before dawn to make our way to the office/class/business. Instead of being forced to hurry through routines and multitask like an automaton, the great pause ground schedules to a halt. Households isolated and when the initial fear and confusion subsided, individuals began to realize they now had the time, and the curiosity, to explore the hobbies they hadn’t had time for before. Knowledge was resurrected as the isolated looked for diversions. New life surged into the old crafts as people across the country took up quilting, baking bread, gardening, and brewing beer. Suddenly everyone seemed to have a vegetable patch, a sour dough starter in the fridge, or a knitting project.

While health workers and those deemed essential fought on, the rest of us had downtime that allowed many a restoration of body, mind, and spirit. Now there was time for self care. It was possible to sleep when you were tired, eat when you were hungry, and exercise when your muscles needed to stretch. As the hours of isolation stretched, values changed. Priorities were rearranged. Interests shifted from consumerism to personal development. The practice of multitasking fell out of favor as mindfulness was embraced. The long walk, once a guilty pleasure, was encouraged. Small joys were found in time spent quietly observing backyard wildlife. Wonder bloomed at the beauty of a flower. For many, the time of COVID allowed spirituality to wake or become deeper, as people across the globe rediscovered themselves. Art was appreciated. Books long set aside were completed. The shutdown allowed me to delve into my writing projects and now my book, Kitchen Witchery: Unlocking the Magick in Everyday Ingredients is available for purchase, and my second book will be published summer 2022.

Yes, 2020 was a year of change. Hope for normalcy is growing now in 2021. As restrictions relax are we as a society going to jump right back into the rat race, or are we going to cling to our newfound values and etch space for them into our day-to-day lives? As for me, I will not forget the lessons learned from this slower, mindful way of life.

Our thanks to Laurel for her guest post! For more from Laurel Woodward, read her article, “Kitchen Witchery: The Magick of Everyday Things.”

Written by Anna
Anna is the Senior Consumer & Online Marketing Specialist, responsible for Llewellyn's New Worlds of Body, Mind & Spirit, the Llewellyn Journal, Llewellyn's monthly email newsletters, and more. In her free time, Anna enjoys reading an absurd number of books; doing crossword puzzles; watching ...