Entering 2020, like many others, we made our new year’s resolutions and added to our bucket lists, with such high hopes and such grand plans. This pandemic we’re experiencing has created many obstacles and barriers to living out our regular daily lives and has placed us in a constant state of uncertainty. Some have experienced higher levels of stress, anxiety and even panic and are still learning to cope with it. Is this our new pandemic norm and required resilience? I tell you what, I’m not going to let it keep me down!
COVID-19 can cancel my yoga classes – I can follow YouTube yoga sessions in my makeshift living room studio. COVID-19 can cancel my shopping trip – it just gives me practice in online ordering, which I should have tried years ago anyway. COVID-19 can cancel the festivals that I look forward to every single year – I’ll miss that music and those ribs, but I’ll get over it. There are so many other things I was looking forward to this fall that now might not be safe to do, and that knowledge is most definitely disappointing. Then, as the remarkable beauty and joy of autumn leaves, and crisp sunny mornings envelopes us all, I reside in peace knowing COVID-19 can’t cancel Fall!
An annual family get-together-style Thanksgiving dinner may be off the table this year, but what isn’t off the table is the giving of thanks, having grace, and feeling gratitude! Perhaps this year I will simply be thankful to have a family that is safe and well, and perhaps I’ll give unto others who may not have money or food or family. I’m thankful to live in Canada, where we have a government that looks to support its people, and frontline workers who go up to bat against COVID-19 each and every day, risking their personal health to ensure the health and safety of others. I’m thankful I am secure enough to have a home to live in and food on my table.
I think about all the things I love about Fall and how I can still enjoy them this year even if the experience pandemically different. I love long Sunday drives down dirt roads with canopies of trees and autumn coloured leaves. I can still do that with every bit the same enjoyment as before! If you share a love for Fall’s fantastic backdrop, you can enjoy walks and hikes, and even get some family photos taken. Why not consider creating a family scavenger hunt experience, or visit one of Hamilton’s 100 or more waterfalls on scenic walking trails?
I love the harvest and pumpkins, and of course the apple cider, as I’m sure many of you do! You can still visit an apple orchard to pick some apples, or a pumpkin patch, and many farms offer an array of activities for families, only this year your visit may need to be a scheduled one. Some nearby favourites are:
Chudleigh’s Farm - www.chudleighs.com
Dyment’s Glen Drummond Farm - www.dyments.com
Downey’s Farm Market - www.downeysfarm.com
Andrew’s Farm Market and Winery - www.andrewsscenicacres.com
Hutchinson Farm - www.hutchinsonfarm.ca
And speaking of pumpkins… let’s not forget about Halloween, a favourite for many kids and adults alike! Even though trick-or-treating may be deterred this year, there’s no reason you and your family can’t still get into the Halloween spirit by making your own Halloween costume and having some fun with some face paints. The tradition of carving pumpkins and decorating your house and yard for the occasion doesn’t need to end and can still be shared with others (by social distancing). Perhaps you and your child might like to take a stroll around the block to see which neighbours also chose to keep the Halloween spirit alive! Instead of going trick-or-treating, you can arrange a candy hunt in your home for your child… add a treat checklist or clues for an element of home literacy or bake some Halloween treats! Why not play a few Halloween-themed games together as a family, cuddle up and read, or watch a movie.
One of the finest things about fall is that it offers a Cornucopia of creative mediums and materials! Leaves, bark, acorns, pinecones, pebbles, corn husks, straw, grasses, and fall blooms all make for an amazing nature hunt and collage. You can add them together to make a wreath to decorate your home. There is such a wide array of fall creative art and craft ideas you can dabble in this season, and many unique ideas can be found on Pinterest!
So even when the stats get you down, and your plans need to be cancelled, there’s still a silver lining – the fabulousness of Fall! COVID-19 can’t cancel Fall!