The final day of 2020, and although we were greeted with lovely snow that fell during the night December 31st is a gray day. It seems somehow appropriate that the year ends with a bit of beauty but a lot of melancholy, rather summing up the entire twelve months of this disturbing year.
As I focused the camera on the potager from the upper deck, the view made me reflect. The “jolly” snowmen with their flashy red scarves didn’t to much to cheer this year. In fact, there were very, very few celebrations at all in 2020, and little to celebrate, truth be told. Lots of courageous folks were out there keeping our world going, keeping supply chains running, delivering much more appreciated mail and packages, teaching children in difficult situations, staffing food banks, saving lives, consoling our isolated elderly, and much, much more. Those of us who could worked from home, or retreated to our gardens. The total effect of the entire situation may never be truly illuminated, for the “trickle down” devastation is both wide and deep.
2020 was not good in most ways for most people, but there were a few moments in our lives that will make a good memory. Our first great-grand baby was born in January. Sadly, we haven’t seen him in person but he’s delightful in videos, happy and laughing and trying to take his first steps. Technology has become more of a welcome tool, rather than an intimidating frustration, enabling us to link to family we can no longer see in person or hug. My “Happy Hour” Zoom Friday evenings with friends may become a staple even once we can venture out. The population’s “new” awareness of nature and the outdoors, the skyrocketing interest in gardening, cooking and preserving are all good things. Here in Indiana, the weather in 2020 overall was exceptionally beautiful, but many in other places suffered severe storms, floods, earthquakes, and wildfires. It was a year of records, and many of them were not “good things.”
The gardens were more than my happy place this year. They were sanctuary, my safe place, my focus. They provided positive reinforcement, eliminated many trips to the grocery, and became a way to help friends who were not as fortunate financially, health-wise, or space-wise through many boxes of produce.
I don’t know what 2021 will bring, but while hopeful, I am pretty skeptical that it will be much improved over 2020. Nations are plunging into debt. Lots of business will never reopen. Budgets for important projects, charities, and soul-feeding activities have been slashed. People everywhere are struggling to provide for families. And, I just heard that even after vaccination, authorities are urging those who’ve been vaccinated to still social distance, wear masks, and wash hands. Things may get better, but there will certainly be rough times ahead, and progress on all fronts will definitely be much slower than any of us hope.
So, I’m spending this final day of 2020 planning. Planning ways to increase the potager’s production so I can help feed more people. Planning ways I can give more, help more in my small community. Planning how I can stretch my dollars so I can give more to struggling charities. And planning ways to make 2021 better, happier and more comforting. Happy New Year’s Eve to one and all!