Last weekend, I was starting to go stir-crazy. I hadn’t been outside more than twice during the week to walk around the neighborhood, thanks to chilly rain, and, given the coronavirus surge in our region, I did not run any errands. So when the sun finally emerged and the temperature hit 60, we drove to a nature preserve about a half-hour south of home.
On the way, we passed electronic highways signs urging out-of-state visitors to Massachusetts to self-quarantine for 14 days. Necessary warning, but it made my heart heavy. Traffic was moderate, and the small parking lot for the preserve, Cormier Woods, was almost full. With no one nearby, yet, we looped our face masks around our ears and tucked the fabric under our chins.
As soon as we headed down the first trail, I began to relax. Just getting out in fresh air, in a sylvan setting, was a relief. Nature, which has brought us the deadly coronavirus (with all too much help from humans), also now brings life’s rebirth here in the Northern Hemisphere. Each emerald sprout, each hopeful pine sapling pushing through fallen leaves, reaching for light, promised that life still flourishes.
When other hikers passed us by, we all performed the new greeting ritual—pull up the mask over your nose and mouth, step to the side about six feet, and wish each other well. Everyone seemed in good spirits, and it was nice to see others in the flesh, rather than via computer pixels.
Here is a sampling of that lovely afternoon. I hope, Dear Reader, that you, too, are able to find some safe relief in whatever way Nature provides for you.