My Stone Castle


Tangled Up in Quarantine

Rapunzel. Remember her?

You know, the girl in the tower, with the hair.
I just watched Disney’s Tangled for the first time (hey, better late than never!) My kiddos are all grown up so I no longer watch Disney movies. I love Disney, but I am free from those indelible songs on a continuous loop in my brain. Tangled was a sweet reminder of Mom-life nearly 25 years ago. To my surprise, as I think about my current circumstances, I think Disney saw the Coronavirus coming?
I am channeling some inner Rapunzel as I ponder the oddity of being stuck in a castle in this crazy time of social distancing and quarantine. My hair is getting ridiculously long. The tower is closing in.
Rapunzel was held captive, issued stay at home orders, to shelter in place, by her evil stepmother. In the Disney movie, Tangled, Rapunzel lives in the Kingdom of Corona.  Just so happens, I am held captive by the evil coronavirus, a pandemic that has locked every member of the global community in their respective towers. Rapunzel, me, and the rest of society yearn to be saved.  We yearn to have our freedoms and power restored.  We yearn to be set free from the Kingdom of Corona.
Rapunzel’s story has her saved, thanks to the hair, by a dashing prince on a horse.  For all of us now, forget the hair, the prince, and the horse, we need bio-saving; a medical-miracle that can keep this nasty viral beast away from me, our precious families, and the first responders, medical workers, and caregivers.  
I am quarantining at my castle with my 88 yr-old parents. Considering the circumstances, we are thrilled to be holed up here, off the grid in a languid Connecticut town with virtually no confirmed cases of Covid 19.  One day morphs into the next.  Unlike Rapunzel, we have the freedom to garden all day in all kinds of weather.  After a hot shower (another tick defensive move) my mom picks up her Fair Isle knitting, my dad reads his books.  The stack of books comes up to my shoulders. In the evenings we convene for a family dinner and discuss the news of the day, reminisce, and work together to make sense of the current situation.  We understand how lucky we are. We are so grateful and our prayers go out to all who are working so hard to fight the disease and care for those suffering. 
Thanks to the plight of Rapunzel, I have learned some incredible lessons.  Like the wounds from the prickers I battle in the garden, life hurts.  We can’t keep ourselves and our loved ones safe from all the evils of the world. We also can’t stop the cycle of life. We can never give up hope, no matter the gravity of the situation. After all, would the rose be as beautiful if it weren’t surrounded by thorns? 
As a child, my German nanny, Dagmar, read Rapunzel to my siblings and me. She would cite the teachings of the Grimms fairytale as a warning for our good behavior.  I am marveling at how these teachings apply to our quarantined, global pandemic state of mind this very day:
-Greed Can Be Dangerous 
-Reckless Behavior Often Has Unpleasant Consequences 
-Forbidden Items Are Always More Appealing
-Stealing is Wrong
-Think Before You Speak 
-Time Marches On 
-Kindness Soothes Fear 
-Wisdom Comes From Life Experiences
-Patience Will Be Rewarded
Rapunzel is a girl of many gifts– her enchanting voice, her beauty, her patience (and don’t even get me started on that hair!!) Not only is she a fountain of life lessons, but culinary offerings as well.  Rapunzel’s craving for rampions, for which she is named, (Rapunzel is the German word for rampion or ramps) is what got her in trouble.  And I can understand the craving.  Ramps are delicious.  A member of the Allium family along with onion and garlic, this wild variety is sometimes referred to as a “wild leek.” Looking much like a scallion, a tiny bulb elongates to a skinny stalk with green feathery leaves and adds depth and oniony sweetness to fish, chicken, or pesto.
Lovers of this spring goodie are fans of its fresh onion and garlic flavor. Cooking will mellow out the pungent flavor of a raw ramp.  A serious farmers’ market treasure, ramps are harvested through the spring and early summer– look for them at markets from April through May or early June.
My friend Harriet is making Ramps and Scallops tonight for her family.  See the recipe in the Entertaining tab.
As I wait for my prince charming (in the form of a vaccine/shelter in place lift) I realize that if Rapunzel can make it through quarantine, I can too.  While I look forward to a haircut, I will always treasure what I have learned from her struggles. On a serious note, I am filled with gratitude for all that I have during these difficult times, and my heart goes out to the affected families and individuals, first responders, doctors, nurses, and essential workers. 
Here’s my food for thought: What has the quarantine brought up for you? What or who are you channeling to make it through?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

follow us on