April 8, 2020 - Walking Backwards
This week the COVID-19 virus is still keeping us at home. There are signs that our efforts are making a difference and giving us more time to prepare our health care system for the shocki. I am also grateful to live in a time where many people have access to quick and easy communications that allows us to stay safe in our homes while doctors and researchers learn more about COVID-19 and how best to handle it.
In the meantime, I continue to run and I am enjoying the rainy days on the trail. The rain isn’t too cold and most of the time I am the only one out getting soaked. I find myself grateful for rainy, cloudy weather because fewer people are outside, mingling and potentially spreading the virus.
As part of my runs, I now stop in the middle so that I can take a moment to appreciate being outside and away from people. The other day, after I stopped, I decided to try walking backwards on the trail, as a challenge for myself. As I walked backwards, I found myself feeling nervous about what I couldn’t see, sneaking looks to try and see the trail, and finally anxious enough that I returned to walking, then running forward. While running, it struck me that right now, for many of us, we also feel like we are walking backwards, unsure of where we are going and moving slowly so we don’t accidentally trip or fall. We peek around to try and anticipate what is coming, but we only get glimpses and cannot tell what is really coming. We desperately want to turn around and start moving forward again, but circumstances prevent us.
Yet, in our normal lives, we were still walking backwards, it’s just that routines gave us the illusion that we always knew what would happen and we were in control of our lives. With the current state of affairs, we’ve all found out that our routines, our control, our very normalacy cannot prevent massive changes within our lives. The biggest difference is that everyone is experiencing the same thing so we have company as we try to move backwards, at a slower pace through life. And that knowledge helps, knowing that we aren’t alone in our doubts, fears, anger and anxiety over the topsy turvy life we now lead compared to a few weeks ago.
Looking forward to my runs this week as rain helps with my physical distancing. My wishes that everyone continues to stay healthy and safe in their homes.
Pictures by J.T. Harpster. Prints for the rainbow and blossoms have been posted at https://shellcreek.redbubble.com/ for purchase as prints or on other products.