We all have our stories of coping with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether figuring out how to work from home while monitoring a child’s school activities, helping an elderly parent with the necessities of daily life while isolating indoors, self-quarantining due to the uncertainty of potential exposure, or one of the countless other scenarios, we’re all in this “together.” Being an HR Department of one, I am privileged to assist many of my colleagues with accessing COVID-related benefits tailored to their unique situations. Putting together Return to Work plans with an eye on daily briefings, charts and trends, weekly webinars, and countless sources of guidance and information, there’s a lot to learn. Bottom line: safety!

I was reminded of another’s need for safety recently when I glanced out my kitchen window to see a fawn nibbling at some vines on the other side of my utility fence. I stood there in awe of this beautiful animal when suddenly I noticed another fawn slowly walking toward the fence from inside my yard! I had accidentally left an opening in the fence when mowing recently, and this little deer had found the way in. So the two were regarding each other, each on opposite sides of the fence, and I was regarding them when I suddenly saw their ears perk up. A few houses over, a neighbor’s dog was enough cause for concern that the outside fawn bolted into the safety of the woods. The inside deer frantically looked for an escape route but couldn’t find the opening. I ran outside to open the gate, but of course, the animal wanted nothing to do with me and eventually sprang right over the fence and into the woods to join his sibling.

Relieved that they had both found safety, I returned to my COVID planning and daily HR work, thankful for the COVID interruption this drama had provided. I am one of those people who feeds the birds even in summer months. I watch with amusement (and some tapping on the window) as the woodchucks nibble the kale and green beans in my vegetable garden and I happily listen to the chirping of the baby wrens in the nesting box I built this spring, as they anticipate the return of a parent who I spy, with a morsel of food, approaching the little house. I’m blessed to be able to enjoy some of what nature can offer, especially during these unprecedented times, and I hope others are also welcoming similar, unexpected interruptions.