The pandemic and bonsai
This past year has been a strange one with the Covid pandemic spreading across the United States and the rest of the world. People were told to stay home and quarantine for safety’s sake, none of the usual social activities we were used to were allowed anymore. No restaurants, no movies, no gatherings, usually including bonsai events. Monthly meetings, conferences, trainings and shows were cancelled. Most people eager to still connect to other enthusiasts, tried to make the best of it. Places like the Minnesota bonsai society began to use zoom to have its monthly meetings, I assume most groups did the same. Although it was new technology with its glitches and peoples trial and error with getting to know it. It still was a safe way to connect with each other. Once most of us were spending more time at home- whether for work or just lack of places to go-and with the pandemic coinciding with the start of spring- it was a good time to spend more time with our trees.
One thing that the pandemic has given us a chance to do is to put our lives on pause and reflect. It can give us a chance to look at our lives and analyze what’s important. The same can be done with our bonsai. Turn things around and see it from a new angle. Most of us look at our trees usually from the front. Make a change and turn your trees around and see the back view. It’s not how you are used to seeing your trees and you might see a feature of your tree you have never noticed. This could be a good one that you want to accentuate or a bad feature to correct and even remove. A lot of us have been reevaluating our lives during the past year as well
Another positive aspect of having more time with your trees is that working on them at least for me, is very relaxing. The pandemic is an extremely stressful time full of uncertainty. Working on your trees can help you slow down, relax and appreciate some nature and feel control of at least some small part of our lives.