I’ve been thinking about what I’ll take away from this time of isolation and social distancing. Like many of you, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to consider what’s important. A few things stand out to me.
I have a whole new appreciation for physical touch. A hug from a friend; a handshake from someone I’ve just met; and being able to stand less than six feet apart when having a conversation are things I’m missing.
People are so much friendlier. I’m not one to go completely out of my way to say hello to someone I don’t know. But in the past week, I’ve waved at people across the street, and even yelled a greeting when I’m walking my dogs. There are so few of us out, that it seems rude not to take notice and give a friendly wave. So our eyes light up, we wave and speak to each other as if we haven’t had a conversation with anyone but our spouse in the past several days.
I’m cherishing my relationships. While I’ve so enjoyed FaceTiming with my boys and their wives and chatting with friends via Zoom, there’s nothing quite like sitting in the same space with someone, talking over steaming cups of coffee or tea or sharing a delicious meal around the table. One of the first things I want to do when our time of quarantine is over is meet a friend for coffee at one of our local coffee shops.
I’ve loved the community support of our farm and other small businesses. My husband, Houston, our daughter/farm manager, Emilie and I have felt so much love and support from Corsicana and Navarro County in the past week. The Corsicana Chamber of Commerce began a Facebook group called Outta the Box, where we’ve been able to connect with other small businesses in the city and county. We’ve been reminded of the importance of small businesses to our downtown and the surrounding region. As much as we can, we’re buying local. And we’ve been able to sell and deliver our produce and fresh baked bread curbside. To say we’re overwhelmed with the support from the community would be a gross understatement.
There have also been more moments to connect with those I love - namely my husband and daughter. I feel so blessed to have our farm. As an “essential” business, we have been at our property planting and harvesting vegetables and working on a drainage solution for our peach orchard. We’re preparing the grounds for the time we’re able to host Farm Day again and have glampers come stay.
Even though there are so many things I’ll take away from this time, maybe the most important is the recognition of the need to be still, to be quiet and reflect. While my default setting is to stay busy - either physically doing things; streaming a video or catching up on social media - there have been times of quiet. What are some things you’re learning about yourself and what will you be taking away from our time of joint isolation?
Sherry Asbury Clark is Co-Founder of Purdon Groves and a freelance writer. Her column, Finding Myself in a Small Town, appears each week in the Corsicana Daily Sun. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Purdon Groves, a farm, table, venue and retreat property, check out purdongroves.com or visit their Instagram or Facebook pages.