What do you think of when you think of spring?
What is different about this year?
As soon as the world starts turning green, my mind turns to gardening. One of our new team members has been so excited to help us in the garden this year. Lettuce, peas, kale and beets have been sown and we already have tomato seedlings sprouting inside. During a year when so much has seemed dismal, caring for plants has brought a welcome comfort and sense of normalcy. Watching things grow is a wonder.
As the weather warms, I am looking forward to more than tending the garden…with much more pent up excitement than in previous years. Even for those of us who were able to carry on parts of our lives in the midst of the COVID pandemic, there are some things we had no control over.
I had no control over businesses that chose to close entirely or industries that were mandated to shut down. I had no control over other people’s ability to travel. I had no control over large scale events being cancelled or greatly altered. It has been a sad, frustrating and sobering year. I think it has also brought a great sense of priorities…what is really important in our lives? Love, health, family…creating the opportunity for others to protect those things for themselves.
Of course, I have missed big family holidays, crowded markets, annual events…and theater! In two weeks, Wolfbane Productions will be taking to the stage again for the first time in a year. I am so excited to see these beautiful people doing what they love and I know they can’t wait to be in front of an audience again. If they still have tickets left, don’t miss 2021’s first mainstage production.
We’ll also see the return of our Easter Buffet, the Appomattox Vintage & Artisan Market and the Appomattox Oyster & Seafood Festival! It seems like these are just the beginning of a year full of hope and promise for many of the things we have been missing. As I look around our town and neighboring localities, I see organizations optimistically scheduling future events, planning cautiously with an expectation of life returning to something at least close to normal.
One of the things that has been very interesting about this past year is observing the innovation, flexibility and resilience that has emerged. Many industries have introduced or increased virtual opportunities for their productivity. Of course, technology often offers its own challenges, but many companies are finding greater efficiency not only in not having to turn a building on, but through the morale of their staff. Some say they will never return to in-person work.
Of course, we can’t offer our food or rooms virtually. When the idea of shutting down the restaurant for two weeks to “flatten the curve” first came up, its sounded like something from which we would have a hard time recovering. Little did we know, it was more like two months, with a phased reopening. But our dedicated team stuck with us as we continued to put one foot in front of the other in order to make it work and support them. Things changed every couple of weeks and we learned to adjust. Not only are we still open, we have increased our staff! We are blessed.
In 2021, as the world begins to reopen, it feels like some of us are awaking from a long nap….slowly stretching, pulling back the covers and preparing to step out of bed into life again. I am looking forward to welcoming guests back who were waiting for the moment to feel right to travel. I am looking forward to bursting with a list of things for them to do when they ask what is going on in town this weekend. I am looking forward to seeing spring bloom.