March 2020, headlines screamed, “Covid-19: world-wide pandemic! Stay Home! Isolate! People infected! People dying!” Everything was happening so fast, it felt so surreal, but at the same time, it felt very real, and that terrified me. I kept saying to myself, “this can’t be happening, not here, not now!” Not knowing how this pandemic would affect us, I followed all of the rules and protocols, I stayed home, and worked from home. My life of work became telephone conferences and Zoom meetings. No face-to-face contact outside of my immediate family.
But…all of a sudden, amidst all of the news and impact of covid, there was a quiet…For me, this was when being outdoors during work breaks became a salvation for me. Walking outside in the sunshine amongst the nature, with the snow on the ground, watching the little birds in the feeders and with the odd bunny out foraging created a calmness within me. I would breathe a sigh of relief as I would say, ‘Hallelujah, this Covid-19 thing isn’t out here!” As I listened to the sounds, I became mystified by how the healing nature could make me completely oblivious to the ‘noise of covid.’
I asked myself, how does our great outdoors do this? How is it I can immerse myself outside, be part of something so marvelously put together when inside the four walls we live in, the pandemic is everywhere, occupying every thought and action? Reflecting on the here and now I realized how blessed I was to be in this place that I could wander about and be connected to. Here it was safe, it was living, and as spring came, everything became green and alive again. Seeing the green…nature survived! This was the all the hope I needed. Walking outside, getting respite from all of the ‘covid’ news, helped me; it still does, to stay grounded, to appreciate, to inhale and exhale the cleansing air and be more aware of everything around me.
All this awareness and connection because of Covid-19…go figure! Life is often not predictable, no matter how we think we can control our future…but the cycle of nature is predictable. As in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, ‘To everything there is a season…” Seasons come and go; nature’s bounty lives and dies. Hearing the rustle of the leaves in the trees; the birds chirping and singing; the wind giving movement to everything, makes me feel alive. At night, sitting in front of a warm crackling fire, the sounds are soothing, calming and the stars give light to an amazing universe where my mind can go and explore. Then, just as quickly, the days get shorter, and the evenings become cooler, and the season changes again.
It’s 2022 and life has changed for me and the rest of the world since March 2020 in ways I never could have imagined. But one thing is certain, I am blessed, and I will never take this for granted because just being a part of the great outdoors and all of its healing powers brings so much meaning to my life.
After a year of living with the impact of covid we got a puppy. A beautiful little german shepherd puppy, about 5 weeks old and 3.75 pounds of energy. Having to work from home during the pandemic for almost a year, all of a sudden, I had a little one sleeping on my feet while I was working on the computer, keeping me company and I felt this connection, a bond with this little living creature I was now so crazy in love with. We named him Max, mostly because he just looks like a Max. Don’t know why but that’s what it had to be.