A Coronavirus Walk

I’m not a scientist. I didn’t like to read about it, but I like doing the experiments. I want to experience it.

Six months ago, I never heard the word coronavirus. I’ve heard it way too much these past few weeks. Like I said, I’m not a scientist. If I had to explain it, I would say this. It’s a freak of nature. It’s contagious as all get out. It’s making people sick. It’s killing people. It’s causing the entire world to shut down. It’s collapsing our economy. It’s causing us to worry. It’s threatening our jobs and our finances. It’s making some of us think we are crazy.

My family hasn’t spent the last week home bonding and creating beautiful memories. I’d love to tell you our days have been filled with laughter and spending quality time together, but I’d be lying.

Our days have been filled with way too much TV, phones, video games and eating bad food. We do get to spend a few moments each day eating together or playing but believe me it’s not all-day fun.

I’m a people person so I woke up yesterday and decided that I need to incorporate other people into my daily life. So, yesterday I zoomed with three friends. It felt good to connect with people outside of my own house.

Today I decided to ask my friend Barb to take a walk. She is always telling me I need more nature in my life. I figured we could walk outside without spreading any germs.

She asked if I wanted to feed the birds at Blue Spruce. I agreed and suggested we drive separately just in case.

I’ve never feed the birds before. I pictured that we would be sitting on a bench throwing birdseed on the ground out in front of us and the birds would come close but not touch us. Kind of like the people you see on TV feeding the pigeons in NY city.

I was wrong.

We stood by a tree very still. We held out the feed in our hand. She said they would come. I didn’t really believe it. As we waited, I could hear water flowing and birds chirping and feel the sun on my face. We chatted as we waited. It was nice to hang out with someone different. I love my boys but there is nothing like girl talk.

Then it happened. A bird ever so slowly came and took a piece from her hand. I couldn’t believe it. Ben and I have bird feeders outside our living room window. But I’ve never seen one this close. I wondered if I never took the time to try. Life is busy.

A few minutes later, a different bird came to my hand. I could feel its little feet as it landed, and I was transported into a real-life science experiment. I couldn’t tell you what kind of bird it was or what type of food we gave them, but I can tell you how it made me feel.

I experienced it.

After we fed the birds, Barb asked if I wanted to take a short walk. She wanted to look for something that blooms during this time of year. She called it skunk cabbage. Didn’t sound to interesting but after she showed me one, I saw them everywhere. She told me I had a good eye for picking them out. I reminded her that I used to hunt for arrowheads with my dad, so I was used to looking for treasures.

She told me there were bulbs inside the cabbage. I kneeled to snap a picture and saw it. The beautiful science inside the cabbage. Barb said exactly what I was thinking. It looked like the coronavirus.

Interesting.

I must admit that I find the picture of the coronavirus they’ve been posing on the news and in the internet sort of pretty. How can something so scary be pretty?

My friend Carrie tells me I have a gift. A gift of seeing the good in everything bad. It’s true. I love the challenge of seeing the good.

So here it is. Natalie’s definition of the coronavirus.

It IS a freak of nature and contagious and making people sick.

It IS causing the entire world to shut down. Thank God. We really needed a break. All of us. We have been driving ourselves crazy with activities and achievements.

It IS collapsing our economy. It’s only temporary. We will bounce back. History proves that it will.

It IS causing us to worry. It’s ok. It’s an opportunity to trust God. Worry less, pray more.

It IS threatening our jobs and our finances. This is a real and valid concern. But…the community is coming together like I’ve never seen in all my years. We will get through this … together.

It IS making some of us think we are crazy. Good. It’s an opportunity for us to find out what is important to us. A time for reflection and making changes in our lives for the better. A time for appreciating the little things like nature and birds and skunk cabbage and yes, even toilet paper.

I encourage you to go on your own coronavirus walk. Enjoy this experiment of a gift that we’ve all been given. Time.

6 Comments

  1. Love this! There is NOTHING better than having a bird from nature eat food from your hand. Seeing their little face look at you is just unexplainable! And amazing! It gives you a closeness to God our creator! I too spent some time outside today seeing the beauty of spring!

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  2. I love this,Natalie. This sounds amazing and in the hustle and bustle of a too busy world we forget to look for God’s beautiful blessings and gifts he has showered us with. I miss spending time with you. But reading this has really brightened my day. Your friendship is a wonderful gift from God. 🥰🥰🥰🙋‍♀️

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  3. Beautiful, Natalie! You’re friends with Barb Hauge, too! Master Gardener – deep, nature-loving, thoughtful, idealistic… your insights are lovely

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  4. I too was thinking of how much I like the colors and symmetry of the virus as well. But now, (I know exactly where you were) when I check out skunk cabbage…guess what I’ll be doing? You are right, we are coming together. But … Yes – there is a But….. I am concerned about the grieving. Grief has many faces. Grieving for loved ones-dying alone, jobs lost, businesses closed, farmers in desperation, and much more …. and …. the HCW who are shouldering and experiencing some indescribable events. There will be lots of PTSD. We are being called to be the Best we can be for each other. I could picture your excitement with the birds. What a great adventure.

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