As we approach the summer solstice, I find myself still working from home, and our world still topsy-turvy, due to COVID-19. What is the new normal anyway? We all wear masks and gloves, shopping is primarily done online, or we are utilizing store pickup options. Eating out? Not really. Some have opened with curbside or outdoor dining only, but our small business owners are suffering terribly. Our new normal is far from normal. I’m doing my part and limiting my social interactions, even though that is hard for me, it is so much worse on others. This is our crazy new world. Something that has brought me great joy during this time, has been watching all the beautiful flowers in our yard pop up. As you know, we moved into our new home the first week of March, just as the pandemic scare was beginning to pick up steam. I am blessed to be able to work from home during this time, but the walls are beginning to close in. It has been great joy watching our new yard transform into a beautiful masterpiece. I have been reluctant to pull up anything, because I simply don’t know where anything is planted, or how to determine what is a weed, and what isn’t. I am so grateful to have held off uprooting what looked to me like weeds! For example, a lovely border of what turned out to be Shasta Daisies, would have mistakenly been pulled up thinking the emerging seedlings were weeds! The lovely Clematis Vine at the end of the driveway would have been gone as well! I’ve always loved working in the soil, a little dirt therapy does wonders for the soul. I love watching the cycle that each plant goes through. I have taken to journaling, and sketching, and naming each of the garden zones. It is very therapeutic. I am so thankful for such a gorgeous landscape. As I identified yet another blooming bush this evening, I realized, even though I am not traveling for work at all, due to company wide travel bans, and not really doing any personal travel either, I have been keeping up my favorite past time, of finding beauty wherever I go! I have been doing it without even thinking about it! It is my therapy! Stress kills my friends! It is so hard to get caught up in the need to do’s, and have to do’s, that we rarely take time to smell the flowers. Times are changing, and so many of us have been hit hard by this pandemic; take a few moments now, a few moments of quiet contemplation, a moment of mindfulness. My hope is by viewing the lovely collection of flowers I have put together for you will help you take a personal time-out. My wish is that it brings you a moment of joy. We are all in this together. Stay safe my friends!