Dear Diary: How gardening is helping this retired teacher navigate the ‘new normal’

CBC Calgary wants to know how you are living these days. What are you doing differently? What makes you laugh? Cry? Scream? Have you started a new hobby? Let us know.

In this instalment of our series, Dear Diary: In a Time of COVID-19, retired Registered Nurse, Barbara Barry sees the parallels between growing a garden and learning to navigate our new normal. This submission has been edited for clarity and length.


Remaining focused every day seems to get a little harder as time marches on with our self-isolation.

One of the most poignant messages I have received from health services however has been this: Behave as if you have this virus. This message seems to refocus me in those especially difficult moments when I begin to think I can relax our rules.

In preparation for the arrival of spring, we have purchased some beautiful cedar planters and ordered seeds and tomato transplants to plant when the warmer weather sets in. Watering and caring for them is grounding for me, and a daily reminder that as they develop and grow so shall we all develop and adapt to our current new normal.

The seeds and transplants will develop roots and survive through these trying times. They require time and patience to be fruitful. If we follow the same requirements, we too will thrive and adapt.


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