Written By Lauren Shaffner
As I sat stressed six months ago in my childhood bedroom, I began to contemplate what I will conquer during quarantine. I thought about painting, writing, finally figuring out how to do nail art, or starting a youtube channel. Unfortunately none of that happened, I actually became deeply depressed while in isolation from the ones I hold close. Yet the sun still shined through my window each morning, and I reminded myself if she gets up every beautiful morning so should I. I stumbled into my slippers while begging myself to take a shower, even brush my teeth. Being alone was a bigger struggle than I originally thought it would be, my only company was my angry puberty stricken sixteen year old brother. I bought a bunny over quarantine. She has brought a lot of joy into my crumbling bones that laid in bed all day and rewatched the same show again and again. As I laid in bed I looked up at the sun. One day in the earthy weather of late May, she told me to get my ass up. She told me this is the one time in my life where I have unlimited opportunities to seize ideas I’ve been procrastinating for years. This didn’t cure my depressive state but it sure made it better. I started to walk everyday down a dirt road, different music every day, different cars passing every day. Then I started to look forward to that walk, maybe I’ll see a red car tomorrow, maybe I’ll pass a cute dog. I started walking faster, 14 minute pace, my abs started to show again, my brain felt less dead.
After a few weeks walking 3.34 miles, that stupid dirt road became my life, my determination to not fall into my wicked thoughts of isolation. Yeah I was alone, but alone with our mother. She made me get up, she made me do something about my feelings, and she made me realize there’s a reason to live even in the most hopeless of times. I now live in my college town, where I still walk each day while I watch people pass me who I know depend on nature to get them through this time too. It’s all we can do when we can’t be together. Depression sucks, I wish I could have done more during quarantine but a walk a day is all I did. Some people made rugs, some people cooked, some people got really high, some people made art, and I just walked every damn day until I felt better. I do feel better.
We can’t let our mother die of our daily dose of poison we spoon feed into her gorgeous mouth each day. We can’t let her be angry with us, kill us, hurt our communities, our families, and friends. We can’t let her because we depend on her for everything, for me she made me get up and I’m forever grateful. Mother Nature brought us together during Covid even when we couldn’t really be together. She’s powerful, and strong, and she’ll always help us be the same.