Quarantine Causes A Collective Return To Nature
Start writing a post

Quarantine Causes A Collective Return To Nature

Parks and hiking trials provide a much-needed escape for those in quarantine.

Quarantine Causes A Collective Return To Nature
Courtney Hittle

A few days ago, my boyfriend, our friend and I went to Busiek State Park to explore for the day. We pulled into a packed parking lot, with cars lining the side of the road. While we were hoping it'd be less crowded, it was uplifting to see so many people adventuring and appreciating nature, despite the saddening circumstances. The busy trail reminded me of my trip to Canada in August, where hundreds of people lined the trails and suspension bridges, just to get a view of an astonishing feature of nature. While I was struggling with my new state of being unemployed, as I knew many of the people around me were, too, I couldn't help but be reminded of the important things in life.

As someone who worked as a host in a restaurant, it was disheartening to see the lack of business we received in the few days before carry-out and to-go orders were our only mode of service. I felt for our servers, as well as for local restaurants and retail stores who were dealing with the same things. Driving down one of the main roads in town after most places had shut down, it was odd being able to hear the silence.

And while it was eerie and scary, because it meant a detour from normalcy and a dark financial turn, it was oddly peaceful. I started to think about what was essential for living. Things like new clothes and fancy meals didn't have as much shine as they used to. I didn't ache to spoil myself with ice cream.

Instead, I found peace in the outdoors. Whenever I met up with my best friends from high school, we took to the woods to clear our heads and catch up on what we'd been up to. I'd walked a local trail after a hard break-up and loss of a classmate. Nature was always there to remind me that I was a little drop in a big fountain, and that it was necessary, at times, to slow down.

The woods seemed to hold a similar place in other people's hearts, as we passed families, couples, single joggers, and numerous furry friends. The virus may have knocked them down, but they knew where they needed to go to build themselves back up again.

Pawprints and Humanprints alike in the muddy trail at Busiek State Park.Courtney Hittle

With a variety of different trail options, the Busiek State Park provided a "choose your own adventure" mentality, much like the popular book 80s and 90s book series. It was exciting to see so many young ones, pups, and adults energized by the scent of adventure, one that many of us had forgotten altogether, due to our daily grinds and fixation on technology.

Springfield photographer and director Christian Gideon shared on his Instagram page, "I've always explored these spaces on the fringe of society. Back roads. Ghost towns. The overlooked. Returning to these spaces together as a way of staying safe and staying sane has given them new meaning. Part of me feels like I was preparing for this moment my whole life."

I felt like this personal reflection on what seemed like a mass return to nature summed up what I, and so many others must be feeling right now.

I found myself thinking about how incredibly lucky I was to not have to feel this sort of financial uncertainty and emotional collapse every day, due to the privilege I carry. It saddens me to know that so many families regularly struggle with trying to qualify for unemployment, and if they do, living off of that small sum each month.

The reality of all of this hit when we made it back to the end of the trail, after four and a half hours of hiking. On a rock, shattered pieces of pottery with writing on them told individuals stories regarding the virus.

What looked like had been a mug, read, "Corona Virus. You took my: safety, piece of mind, graduation, counseling job, coffee job." The weight of this epidemic and all of the strife it has caused couldn't be ignored. But knowing that this was a shared experience, however troubling, made it somewhat easier to bear.

Broken pieces of pottery at Busiek State ParkCourtney Hittle

Broken pieces of pottery at Busiek State ParkCourtney Hittle

Broken pieces of pottery at Busiek State ParkCourtney Hittle

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments