During this time of coronavirus, I’ve been enjoying my (almost) daily morning walk to the post office. As readers like you buy books directly from me, I mail four or five or six (almost) every day. One day I mailed sixteen, so I drove. (Not complaining!)
Yes, I would possibly be mailing books even during normal times. But during normal times, I would most likely be driving. Going to the post office would be one of several errands. During this time of coronavirus, errands no longer exist. Now, a walk to the post office has been elevated from daily errand to highlight.
I notice what’s blooming along the way, flowers that weren’t blooming even the day before. In just a week, trees that barely had a hint of green are fully leafed out. The dogwoods and redbuds are blooming. They sing a lovely spring duet in our neighborhood.
As I pass by the Headquarters House, tulips and lily of the valley are in full bloom along the sidewalk. The weeds are flourishing too.
I work at the Headquarters House on Tuesdays with a few of my master gardener friends. So far, because of the very nature of gardening, we are still allowed to do this gardening work. Social distancing is maintainable. But, perhaps when we need to garden more than ever, rain comes every Monday night and Tuesday morning, keeping us away from the garden.
Dandelions are smiling.
There is very little traffic on normally busy Dickson Street. Although unnerving to see, I take it as a hopeful sign during this time of coronavirus. Staying home and social distancing—the people of Fayetteville seem to be taking the directive seriously.
Street sign toppers remind us to Woo Pig Sooie even without baseball and softball.
Things have not permanently changed. But I suspect we may forever be changed in ways we don’t yet comprehend.
As I walk past the church I sometimes attend, I think of Lovers Lane United Methodist Church, the church that still holds my membership in Dallas. I wonder if the Easter cross has been placed in the garden. Probably so. Sadly, this year, the children will not drape it in fresh flowers.
During this season of Lent, we have given up much more than chocolate or wine or sugar.
I suspect we have gained things too.
Each day, new safety precautions have been put in place at the post office, from six feet hashmarks on the floor to the plastic sheeting that now separates workers from the public.
My favorite worker knows me by now. Before he asks, he knows my answer to the question anything fragile, liquid, perishable, or potentially hazardous including lithium batteries or perfume?
He asks anyway. It’s a postal requirement. Even the most insignificant routine can provide comfort.
Books are off to Dallas and Little Rock and a town in Massachusetts I’ve never heard of.
I use the hand sanitizer before I leave.
On the way home, the garden at St. Paul’s Episcopal provides a lovely distraction. I check to see if the Little Free Pantry needs food donations. It does. It always does, but particularly during this time of coronavirus.
I circle through the grounds of the Headquarters House. The tree peony takes my breath away. In only a few days, it is in full bloom with blossoms the size of salad plates. The crabapple trees, the forsythia—blooming. The roses are beginning to fill out even though we never had the chance to cut them back.
Russian sage has put on new growth. Three weeks ago, I pulled weeds from that particular bed. Now, it’s as though I was never there.
I believe weeds follow the gray hair rule—pull one weed and three grow in its place.
Back in our neighborhood, a man is out for a walk with his two girls, a toddler riding her trike and a baby in a stroller. The toddler sings. The dad looks weary. I am fortunate to be going through this at my current life stage—no kids at home to school and entertain, no 9-5 job to lose, no health problems to put me at high risk.
Our mail carrier still walks door-to-door bringing the mail.
Several neighbors are out working in their yards. If nothing else, the yards in our neighborhood will look fabulous when this is over.
The White River Nursery truck is parked in front of our house. We bought four trees and the nursery provides free delivery within a certain radius.
Planting trees. This is something we can do.
Years later, the trees will mark a crazy year and the spring we refused to lose.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
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