“The earth has music for those who will listen.” This quote by Shakespeare is on display in Jennifer Getto’s home. The Corona virus has everyone on edge. We’ve been instructed to social distance and self quarantine to prevent this thing from spreading. While academic institutions, retail stores, theaters and offices have closed their doors until the foreseeable future, now may be time to pick up a new hobby.
People engage in extracurricular activities for many reasons. The primary reason is for personal enjoyment. Doing something you absolutely love brings your mind into the present moment. You are one with the task before you. Stress and anxiety are far away as you deep dive into your bliss. We interviewed Jennifer at her home in East County San Diego. She gave us a tour of her property and introduced us to her brood of chickens.
Jennifer considers herself to be a chicken whisperer. As a professional florist for weddings and corporate events, she often finds that the stress is overwhelming. One day it occurred to her that depositing her love into another living being might be the therapy she needed. While most people adopt dogs, Jennifer found the remedy in chickens. She feels that they understand her and she certainly understands them. Throughout the interview, a rooster sat calmly in her lap as she caressed and gently pacified it. Sir rooster even attempted to answer a few of our questions.
But chickens aren’t the only thing that calms her. Getto is a self proclaimed junker. Different from a hoarder, she actually uses the things she collects. Bathtubs, sinks and old tires are all fair game for planting. Seeking and finding discarded items calms her. You know what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. In this case, the man is a woman. You get the point.
Soil has naturally occurring enzymes that make people happy. Scientists have proven that this is one of the many reasons why gardeners find the most peace they’ve ever felt while their hands are steeped in dirt. Jennifer recommends cultivating a garden to remedy stress, anxiety and depression. She’s not alone in her belief. Doctors notice that patients heal faster when they have a view of trees and other greenery from their hospital beds.
You don’t need a huge plot of land to get started. A small herb garden on your balcony or the side of your house is a wonderful introduction into the art of vegetation cultivation. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop. Getto suggests getting your feet wet with plants that don’t require much maintenance. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Some seeds may not sprout initially but that’s all a part of the adventure.