This letter originally appeared in the April 2021 issue of Lake Norman CURRENTS.
When I was twelve, I moved from Central Texas to the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, where I spent much of my time outdoors, hiking on nearby trails, taking long drives on the parkway with my parents, eating berries straight off the bushes the bloomed in our yard and playing in the icy rivers. I’ve come to realize nature has always been a big part of my life, even if I consider myself a homebody who probably spends too much time indoors reading, working or simply trying to cover off all the household chores.
It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since we put out our last outdoor living-themed issue. I went back and looked at the words I shared then, where I mentioned the onset of a global pandemic was causing schools and businesses to be shut down and large-scale events to be cancelled right as we went to press. I concluded with the words:
I personally can’t help but be grateful for a little extra time to reflect and think about all the things I do have right now rather than the things I don’t have (or the places I can’t go right now). We live in a beautiful community that allows us to breathe in fresh air and play in our backyards. Now is the time to truly appreciate the outdoor living that surrounds us.
The naturalist and philosopher Henry David Thoreau once said: “We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and Titanic features, the sea-coast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees, the thunder cloud, and the rain which lasts three weeks and produces freshets. We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander.”
I’m hopeful for our future. I’m grateful for the health and well being of my friends and loved ones. I’m excited to see events slowly being planned again and can see how much our community has grown stronger through all the challenges of this pandemic.
I feel like the last year and all we’ve lived through has helped me reset in ways I probably needed but couldn’t manage on my own. I revisited my love of the mountains and the beaches in my adopted state and realized how much of our country I still have left to see. I hope others have been able to experience the same type of awakening along with the challenges we’ve endured.