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Embrace the Pause: A Note From Shelly

Quarantine brought our world to a halt; travel stopped, businesses closed, and people were stuck at home. In March, I was caught in the middle of travel and found myself sheltering at my parents’ house in Kentucky. Living with my parents again for the first time since I was a teenager caused an array of emotions. At points I felt stuck and other times I felt truly free. After six months of reflection, tears, and overwhelming love and support, my life has changed….for the better.

One of the biggest changes was living in Kentucky. This gave me the opportunity to create Bluebird Experience’s ninth bluebird trail along my family’s land. This is the first trail I’ve been able to share with my parents. While songbirds were building their nests and creating families, I was rebuilding mine.

Spending time in nature together has brought us closer than we have been in years. I have been able to share my passion with my parents and they have now experienced how this grassroots conservation project is not just saving the songbirds but is also saving their daughter. Like the fluttering bluebirds in the backyard caring for their young, my parents have always been protecting, foraging, and creating a safe environment for me to thrive in – being with them for the past six months has made me realize this. 

Observing the birds, my parents, and having countless hours alone in the basement, I’ve been inspired to make another change. I have started dating. Seeing songbirds enjoy mating in my bed & breakfast while celebrating my parents 55th wedding anniversary has encouraged me to branch out and search for my own perfect partner.

Through the darkness of quarantine and the unprecedented cessation of our lives, I have a new found glow that may not have been discovered without life slowing down. I’ve learned that the birds have always had the right priorities; their home, their family; and their partner. I have learned to adopt these priorities and ensure I too slow down sometimes to embrace the love surrounding me. 


Bluebird Photo - “Female & male bluebird building nest.” by The WoodThrush Shop

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