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COVID-19 and the vernal equinox

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

Toward the end of 2019, I set some intentions and goals for 2020- the big one was to start my own gardening business. I wasn't exactly sure how it would all look or work out, but I was sure that this was my time to make a go of it. I'm 37, married, two young kids, and have the ability to forego a formal 9-5 for at least a little while. I've been doing those for more than a few years, and mostly, they suck.

I filed LLC paperwork, designed a logo, worked on a website, bought a bunch of related product, read a lot, attended some seminars, did NOT take out any small business loans, but opened a business account and line of credit, didn't over extend myself. I've had a few small business transactions, and I was starting to pick up momentum. We were coming out of winter and plowing toward spring, I was feeling confident. I've been in talks with local farmers' markets about having a booth this summer. 2020 was going to be a good year.

In February, news reports of COVID-19 in Asia and Europe started spreading. In the matter of 9 days (give or take) the US went from a president comparing it to the common cold to entire states (including my own) being essentially shut down. My husband temporarily got laid off- he works in a restaurant, and who knows how long they will be closed. We don't know how long this will last. Or, if it will be over. Will everything be different after this? Is this our event by which time will now be marked, as before COVID 19 and after COVID 19?

When I got the idea to write this, because I had to write something about it, obviously, I was cleaning up from dinner, and it was a very negative train of thought. I was going to wax poetic about starting something only to have it never take off, or fizzle out before leaving the ground. I was going to lament about spending the spring that was supposed to be full of so much growth, and instead merely trying to survive and make it through this virus and the ripple effects that will surely carry on for a very long time. I was going to be all woe is me that my dream is getting crushed because I can't really get clients during all this social distancing and quarantine. I was going to wistfully and metaphorically wipe away a tear and say, "Alas, twas not meant to be."

COVID-19 came in like a wrecking ball straddled by Miley Cyrus and today I almost let it knock me down. I was going to let it win. Excuse my language: F*%$ that.

Today, March 19, 2020 year of our friggin Lord, is the vernal equinox. It's the first day of spring, and my mother's favorite day of the year. Seeds I've planted are sprouting, my husband has ripped a TON of old overgrown crap out of our flowerbeds, and I still love this gardening game. My seeds (ok, not ALL of them have sprouted) don't know, nor do they give a shit that the world outside is currently being ravaged by a virus for which we don't have a cure (yet) or any idea how many people it will take down with it. They're growing. Birds are still coming to our feeders, daffodils are still opening, tulips are just hoping to remain unnoticed by our neighborhood deer, my vegetable garden design will STILL BE PLANTED. I'm in the middle of an online continuing education certification for garden design, I'm working on new baby food combinations and mapping out the next few months of planting. Tomorrow is another day. I will keep going as if there will be a tomorrow as long as there is one. There's never a BETTER time to encourage and promote sustainability than when you're staring down the barrel of a global pandemic, amiright? We may not have a choice but to be self sustaining when this dust clears, and frankly, I'm ok with that.

My family has sat at the dining room table every night for the last 6 nights and we've eaten dinner together. My husband has taught our 5 year old how to play Risk. They made fires in the fire pit and made S'mores. I've made a from scratch dessert every night (well, I've tried..baking is hard, but that's another day) We've slowed down. We're not rushing to swim lessons or karate or a birthday party, or cutting a family hike short because my husband has to be at work to cut butters. I am by no means trying to make light of this situation, but those are some really beautiful silver linings, if you ask me.

We are fortunate- I know that. We are facing uncertainty on the job front and could be in a far worse position than we are, and my heart aches for those who are not as fortunate, and for those we cannot help. I don't know when I'll truly be able to get back "out there" and promote this small business of mine, or when my husband will be able to go back to work, but we will be ok.

In the meantime, I will keep propagating, planting, pruning, praying and growing. I hope I don't "love everything" too much (read: overwater because we have extra time) I refuse to go to bed on this vernal equinox full of anything less than hope for tomorrow and the rest of spring, and summer, then fall to follow. I will plan for a tomorrow as long as there are tomorrows.

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