Who's To Say
It's been two and a half weeks since we closed our doors to prevent the spread of this ugly virus that has effected people we know, people we don't know and people we may never know. It's been hard to ingest the news. It's hard to stay home but leaving isn't the option it was before. Stepping out into the world feels strange and infuriating, especially when you see how many aren't taking it seriously, not spending their days killing their souls by refreshing infection stats. It feels dark, I'm moody and it's beginning to impact my mental health. I know it's the same for all of you, too.
I had made promises of content and creation when we closed our doors on March 17th but it's honestly been hard to find the motivation. The months ahead seem bleak and we really don't know what we're all in for. No one can really say, not even the glorious and great Dr. Tam (big fan). I do know that the fabric of our small community in the Junction will be impacted. There's no doubt in my mind that we're going to see a major change in the businesses and retail spaces and it saddens me. The Junction has been a roller coaster for years; all business owners have been hearing about the turning point to come. It feels within our reach. And the community really wants it to change for the better - we're so, so close! - but this virus has altered that. Who's to say though? Maybe things will change for the better. Maybe we won't be swamped with big box and chain stores and restaurants at the end of all this. We can only hope.
But it's not looking that way. It is my job to be positive, to spread joy, to believe, to unite, if other florists' Instagram accounts are of any authority. But it's looking darker and darker. This ugly virus is killing people, businesses, spirits - it only takes one serious conversation with one person you know to realize this.
I heard a story somewhere. Once. I don't remember where. I'm not the first to repeat it and I won't be the last. But it went something like this: A farmer's horse runs away. His neighbour hears about it and says to him, "That's bad news." The farmer responds, "Who's to say?" The horse returns one day, another horse following him. The same neighbour says, "What good luck!" The farmer responds, "Who's to say?" Days later, the farmer's son is thrown off the second horse and is injured. "That's bad news," the neighbour says. Again, the farmer says, "Who's to say?" A week later, there's a draft for the war. The son is spared because of his injuries. The neighbour declares, again, "Good news." You get the point - the story can continue on and on, flipping from finding the good from the bad and the bad from the good.
I love this proverb because this is, obviously, life. Good things happen that lead to bad things. But bad things also happen that lead to better. And so on and so on. I thought this "break" would mean good things - informative, fun, creative opportunities! - would come from all this. So far, that hasn't happened. But who's to say if it's for good or for bad? If it's good news or bad news? We won't know until we're through it. So for now, I'll be riding it out in my corner of the world, hopeful but realistic. Whatever comes my way, I'm ready for it and I'll deal. I've dealt with worse and not-so-worse. Who's to say, really, what this will all turn into.
Lead photo by Danijela Gorley. From a Bloom School Toronto workshop. Flower arranging by Wildhood.