Growing Resilience: Drive-by-Love & Gardening Gives Me Hope

Last Sunday was a day I won’t forget for a long time. Our amazing daughter Erin and our two beautiful granddaughters drove an hour and a half just to see us for a few minutes.

My daughter and granddaughter stand with signs of love for their grandparents during COVID-19 quarantine.

I heard a car horn beeping excitedly outside and there was a lot of yelling going on. Tim and I ran to the door … and to our amazement, we saw our three Wonder Women, outside our gate, yelling and waving signs saying: “We miss you!” “We love you!”

Talk about melting our hearts! We were blown away by their caring and it was such a joy to see them again! Sorry Facetime and Zoom, it’s just not the same as seeing people you love in the flesh. Of course, we kept our distance … when all we really wanted to do was hug them.

We agreed: “Maybe next time.” 

Our daughter Erin and our granddaughters Maddie and Caitlyn smile for a photo during their social distancing visit with us.

That day was a really good day. The day before, not so much. 

I’d hit a wall. It wasn’t the first time since the Covid-19 Pandemic Shelter in Place order went into effect that I went off the rails in the last four weeks, but this time I felt especially angry that we have to go through this seemingly never-ending isolation. 

In the last several years, ever since I began to tap into my true passion, so much of the anger I used to feel was gone. I had become a glass-is-half-full kind of gal, so when I felt that anger bubbling up within me, I became frozen with grief and sadness.

I recognized I was on overload and overwhelmingly saddened by the weight of how the quarantine is impacting our lives. I questioned how long we could endure this difficult time. I found myself being cranky with my husband and if I had thought about stomping my foot, I think that might have helped! I wanted all the tears and fears, the longing and separateness, to end.

Fortunately, gardening gives me hope and a place to lean into when I experience the heaviness of the Coronavirus quarantine weighing in on me.

Toni Gattone weeds with her mini Cobrahead as part of her Gardening Gives Me Hope blog post

I knew there was only one thing that could help me. I got out my gloves, filled up my tool bag, and went out into my garden where I started weeding with my favorite Cobrahead Weeder

I’m telling you, that tool is so darn strong, there was no hope for those weeds. I was to be victorious in my quest! After an hour, I was calmer, clearer, and proud of my accomplishment in such a short period of time.

I’m okay for now and I sure do hope you are too. If you’re not feeling hopeful today, or if you’re feeling down or upset, just remember …

Going outside to plant, weed, and bring beauty into your environment is choosing to be resilient. You’ll be seeding inspiration and weeding out what no longer serves you, and before long, you’ll be harvesting new feelings of love, hope, fertility, and abundance.

Above all, may you find ways to be free from anger and fear and to find solace in your garden, be it big or small actions.

With all my love, hope, and compassion for us as we find our way through these turbulent times .

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5 thoughts on “Growing Resilience: Drive-by-Love & Gardening Gives Me Hope”

  1. I think we’ve all had days when we think we just can’t bear this isolation any longer. I’ve suffered a few bad days myself, since besides the shelter-in-place situation, we’ve also had miserable weather here on the east coast. Last week we had snow 5 out of 7 days. It was never a lot, but enough each day to be very depressing. I’ve only had 3 days when it’s been decent enough to work in the garden. So here’s hoping that things improve all the way around.

  2. Thank you Toni ,yes the garden has been more than wonderful for me. I spent an hour a day for three weeks pulling grass outside my fence. My social life increased when others was declining.A family from church helped pull weeds behind the garage and spread some extra mulch had from over 2 years ago; we all had fun. Now I am inside the garden still being able to talk over the fence friends as they walk their dogs or just walk. I labelled my roses on the fence so people appreciate that, so lovely to share my garden with others. I love your book and will be re reading it when I have time. I have so many projects,I live alone,but don’t feel lonely but thankful and blessed Christine Bird

  3. Hi Toni,

    Was thinking of you the other day so it was nice to receive your note. Think I need one of cobra head weeders!

    I’ve had all of the feelings you expressed so eloquently, and always find our garden a peaceful place to be whether I’m working or relaxing in it. Quite honestly, the garden has not had this much attention for some time, and it is liking it.

    Take care, stay safe and at peace.


  4. Thanks for your compassionate post Toni! Most of my friends have taken great pleasure in the extra amount of time they have found for their garden since the Corona Virus reared its ugly head. You could say they have fallen in love again. It has been food for our souls. Keep putting your beautiful thoughts into words for us. It is a joy.


    • Oh Anne, thank you for the kindness of your message. It’s been a true joy to have finally found my voice and I’m thrilled to hear how it is resonating with you. Yes, we are all experiencing a gardening renaissance and I couldn’t be happier about it, as I am confident Tom and Kathy are too! Be well, my friend.

      With ease and joy,


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