As I wrote about earlier this week, I'm holding firm to my strict stay-safe-at-home routine. (Technically, this is not an really issue for me yet because here in Michigan, we are still under a shelter-in-place order).
But I decided to make one big exception: I visited my favorite nursery this morning.
(Landscaping services and garden-related shops were declared "essential" here in Michigan only recently.)
Normally, going to the nursery is . . . going to my Happy Place. I wander and I ponder and I take my time. I find inspiration and I take pictures and I just relax and enjoy myself. But, of course, these are not normal times.
This morning, my favorite nursery still LOOKED like my favorite nursery. The plants were just as gorgeous and lush as always. I knew where to find everything. It smelled fresh and green and grow-y. It felt so good to be there again.
But yet. . .
It also felt really weird. Surreal, actually. All the other gardeners had masks on. Everyone was polite and careful about making sure we could social-distance appropriatately. The nursery had all kinds of procedures in place to make shopping safe: one-way aisles, carefully wiped-down carts, no-touch hand santizer dispensers, no-contact credit card readers, everything you need to feel (sorta) comfortable plant-shopping in a pandemic. But it was so . . . quiet. No one was laughing or talking or even asking for help. It was so very, very quiet.
(At one point, I just felt so overwhelmed that I shed a few tears. It just . . . happened. And I couldn't do a thing about it.)
I got in. I got out.
I picked up what I went in for: my herbs and a few plants for my front porch containers and hanging ferns for my patio. I didn't jot any notes. I didn't take pictures of anything for future reference or inspiration. I didn't browse. (Much.) (Because I did still end up with a few things that just caught my eye. . . )
And then I came home and jumped in the shower!
So it IS still my Happy Place.
It's just a very different KIND of Happy Place.
("Enriched" now, as it is . . . with sad, scary, surreal-ness.)