Mr. Calvin Lord
When this pandemic first struck, there was an adjustment period of sorts. We all gathered our things, made sure our support systems were ready, and frantically tried to learn all of the safety measures that were so suddenly necessary to accomplish simple things, like going to the grocery store. But after a month or so, things started to fall into patterns. Coping methods became second nature. The new way of life that had felt so unreal began to feel habitual.
Now, a whole two months later, we’re all settling in for what looks like the long haul. The news and the government tip side to side, trying to provide us with hope and comfort without allowing us to put ourselves in danger.
We’re able to see each other’s faces now, the top halves of them, at least. There are still heavy restrictions on social congregation, and this is, unfortunately, shaping up to be one of the longer-term effects of the virus. Many people, like myself, have surely taken up new hobbies and pastimes by now, to fill the solitude in their lives.
It’s hard though, to ignore that lonely melancholy. Sometimes it just can’t be pushed down. When that happens, and this might seem counterintuitive, the best thing one can do is to bask in it. Find ways to bring it out and feel it through. One of those ways is exploration. Exploring your town, county, or local roads is one of the few ways to get out of your house and move without putting anyone else in danger. And it can have fantastic psychological effects.
It’s common knowledge, at this point, that going for walks can help you clear your head, and get your brain moving. But what about finding a pretty corner of the woods? When was the last time you had that childish sense of adventure awakened in you, that vison of the world that bends to your imagination, carving paths and stories around you as you walk and climb? It is a wonder that is so easy to forget.
I assure you, it is equally easy to bring back. Everyone’s got that one road they always thought was so pretty but never walked down, or that cool path into the nearby woods with a bramble and weeds barring the way.
Go down that road. Let the little subtle world surround you, and breathe. You’ll find yourself in a place where it’s okay to be alone, even lonely, without it feeling so shocking, scary, or utterly fundamentally wrong. By introducing yourself to somewhere entirely new, you can break the painful cycle we’re all drowning in. You’ll find it’s easier to be in the moment, and stop thinking about the world and the future.
Some would call this escapism. And yeah, that’s exactly what it is. A little bit of escapism is okay right now. We have to get away from this pandemic, in whatever ways we can, to stay human. It’s not like the virus is something we can exactly rise up to and face head on, not any more than we’re already doing by just staying home all day.
So, go for a walk. Escape with me.