Jonah Reenders

The Natural Bubble

 April 19, 2020

I stopped counting the days since the pandemic began. I think it may be the start of the sixth or seventh week. Like most throughout the world, my life has flipped upside down. There are many parts of normal life I miss and many I feel grateful to still have. I sat next to my roommate last week as she put her hands in her face and cried. She received an email informing her she lost her job. I've been fighting for small wins throughout the day. 

Instead of exploring the meadows around Mt. Hood to see wild lupines break through the frozen landscape, I’ve learned to enjoy a walk down the street to admire the cherry blossoms. Instead of driving to the coast to meet friends and surf the frigid pacific, I’ve learned to be happy with a short bike ride to the Willamette river. Instead of spending hours with friends at the park, I’ve learned to appreciate laying in the grass in the park near my house. 

This unprecedented time has emphasized that accessing wild places is a privilege and may too often be taken for granted.

I hope my first walk back through an old growth forest, I have a little more appreciation for the towering trees and singing birds. I hope my first wave in the Pacific is held with a new found gratitude, and I hope through all of this we realize how important it is to unite to protect wild places. Possibly, this temporary detachment from nature will teach us all to fight a little harder for it once this is all over, so it is not only there for us, but for generations to come.  

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