Last week staff editor Jeff Oloizia made the comment in a group text that when his girlfriend brought home a bouquet of flowers from the grocery store, it really lightened his mood for the rest of the day. His reaction speaks volumes to the simplicity of beauty that often can brighten even our darkest hours.
As we shuffle through the next four weeks during our statewide stay-at-home order, some days are sure to feel heavier than normal. Uncertainties will continue to arise. However, it won’t stop spring from blooming around us in full force. Now’s the time to enjoy every walk outside and appreciate the precious petals and majestic buds in our yards or from afar in our neighborhoods, or even through pictures shared by friends. Basking in spring’s colorwheel can be uplifting to the soul—or as Buddha once said, “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.”
We asked readers on Facebook last week to share their “Prettiest Petals of the Pandemic,” in attempt to bring nothing more than joyful content to this week’s edition—in what usually would be our Azalea Festival edition. We had more than 50 people comment with photos, which encore staff judged on a blind rank-voting scale. Emily Krueger’s purple and white tulip came out on top, and as a result Krueger will receive a gardening supply basket from Farmer’s Supply and a $25 gift certificate from Lewis Farms Nursery.