Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog

Better than Twenty-Twenty

Hello Fellow Readers, We welcome a new year, with sentiments of good riddance to 2020. A year we entered with optimism. The number itself, 2020, invites the concept of balance, of “perfect” vision. But twenty-twenty is not a perfect vision. It’s an average vision. It’s what most people see on eye charts at twenty feet away. But some people see more clearly, more positively, than that. They see better than twenty-twenty, beyond hardship and loss.

A year of life losses, but also a year of gifts…

Despite not celebrating with family as we usually do, there was something more sacred about the holidays this year for many of us. Maybe because of heightened appreciation for the gifts that we still have. And the positive outcome of learning new ways to communicate with those we love no matter where they live.

More than ever, folks have gotten into the spirit of gardening, as evidenced by wholesalers being way up in retail sales. One supplier said by fifty percent. But many industries and jobs are dramatically affected. Then there’s the devastating loss of lives and the isolation caused by the pandemic added to the stress over livelihoods and divisiveness of our world.

Yes, we’ve experienced many life losses in 2020. And the longing for what could have been, or dreams we had for the special year, adds to the sadness.

May I share a story of Twenty-Twenty Vision

a red comfort zone camp badge with several pins including twenty twenty vision wiht glassesEach year, Comfort Zone Camp, a bereavement camp for kids and young adults, has a theme in the form of a pin. Campers are given a pin by one another when they go beyond their comfort zone to help others or challenge themselves as they participate in activities and healing circles to help them grieve, heal, and grow.

Resiliency, Character, Connection, Contribute, and Believe are pin themes from previous years that I’ve been a volunteer. 2020’s pin was Twenty-Twenty Vision: the graphic a pair of glasses with 20 on each lens.

Lynne Hughes, the founder of Comfort Zone Camp, demonstrates the concept. First, putting her hand in front of her face, Lynne explains how difficult it is to see beyond sadness and grief when you experience a loss. And then, with time and coping skills, there’s healing. Your hand begins to move to the side, though still very much in view, hindering your vision for looking forward.

In more time, more healing takes place, and growth begins. Your hand moves more to the side into your peripheral vision. While the hand, the loss, never goes away, there’s a shift to moving forward and living your life fully. Sometimes, it moves from your peripheral vision smack right back to where it started with challenging days of sadness. Grief indeed has a life of its own.

While we welcome 2021, the hardships we’ve endured seem likely to continue for a while, though shifting and changing, and hopefully improving, God willing. Maybe the difficulties and challenges are a realignment of sorts to create balance in our lives. Peace amongst each other. Respect and kindness; giving us better than a twenty-twenty vision for a bright future.

Thank you for making the year brighter two comfort zone camp twenty twenty pins in the shape of eyeglasses

I received a thank you card from Comfort Zone Camp for participating in their committee to help CZC serve more families. Krista enclosed two pins “to share with those that made your year brighter.” And so, I share these pins with you, kind readers. Thank you for sharing a bit of your garden of life with me.

Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous, healthy, and peaceful New Year of growth. Garden Dilemmas? (and now on your favorite Podcast App.)

You’ll enjoy A Butterfly Garden of Growth featuring Comfort Zone Camp and an extraordinary story in Episode 22 of the Garden Dilemmas Podcast:


More about  Comfort Zone Camp


Mary Stone, owner of Stone Associates Landscape Design & Consulting. As a Landscape Designer, I am grateful for the joy of helping others beautify their surroundings which often leads to sharing encouragement and life experiences. These relationships inspired my weekly column published in THE PRESS, 'Garden Dilemmas? Ask Mary', began in 2012. I dream of growing the evolving community of readers into an interactive forum to share encouragement and support in Garden and Personal Recoveries - seeking nature’s inspirations, stimulating growth, weeding undesirables, embracing the unexpected. Thank you for visiting! Mary

Leave a Reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.