#Voices: Coming Back — The Corona Chronicles

Concert in the Gardens | Photo provided

By: Tammy Davis — a teacher and a writer finding lessons in everyday life. This is a contributor-submitted Voices piece. Want to join the conversation? We invite you to write for us. Learn how to share your voice here.

We had been on shutdown for so long that concerts and exercise classes felt like dreams from long, long ago. But, I think we are coming back.  

I recently did a real yoga class, in person, with other people, in one of Columbia’s oldest and most beautiful gardens.  

A few days later, I sat in a different garden and drank wine and listened to the SC Philharmonic with other people.  It was the best week ever, and I have Historic Columbia to thank. Turns out a garden makes a great yoga studio, and stately magnolia trees and live oaks might rival any music hall. Goodbye zoom.  So long, You Tube.  We’re fully vaccinated, and we are coming back.

For fifteen months, we’ve been bursting to get out.  At the Seibels House garden,  the oakleaf hydrangeas must have been feeling the same.  They were bursting with new growth and loaded with buds.  If salvia could speak I wondered if they would say “namaste” or just “hey, y’all.” Either way, it was good to gather together on a sunny, SC Sunday. Everything’s better in person, especially yoga.  I was so thankful to be back in front of a real teacher, I didn’t even mind that devil pigeon pose.

After my magical yoga in the garden experience, I couldn’t wait to see what else Historic Columbia had going on.  Their Thursday night Concert in the Garden did not disappoint.

Concert in the Gardens | Photo provided

A grid made of white lawn chalk marked off the spaces in the garden, this time behind the Hampton-Preston Mansion.  I tried not to be jealous of the folks seated at round tables with white cloths as they munched on their deviled eggs, pimento cheese sandwiches and butterscotch chewies.  Besides, my friend and I had everything we needed: bug spray, our fold-up chairs, and Corksicles full of pinot grigio.  

It was an eclectic crowd, a casual night.  Folks sat on blankets and passed snacks and drinks.  One clever couple brought in a pizza.  People chatted and relaxed.  They closed their eyes and let the music wash over them.  The overall feeling of the night?  The musicians looked happy to be performing in front of a live audience, even if that audience was spaced in DHEC-approved pods.  Oh, live music, how we’ve missed you.”

During the pandemic, Historic Columbia has been in figure-it-out mode.  We have all been pivoting and adjusting and using the creative sides of our brains to come up with ways to safely do what we love and long to do.  It hasn’t been an easy stretch for anyone.  

Masks and mandates forced groups like Historic Columbia to implement lots of changes.  The creative problem solving hasn’t been all bad.  A yoga session in a beautiful garden? Yes, please.  A concert by the SC Philharmonic under magnolia trees and live oaks?  Sign us up, even after the bans are lifted.

For the last fifteen months, we’ve social distanced and zoomed, but we’re finally coming back.  It feels so good to know that we are finally be coming back.

Visit www.historiccolumbia.com to see the upcoming schedule of yoga classes, concerts, and more. Parts 1-12 of the Corona Chronicles can be found at www.tammydavisstories.com.