Sigh. I struggled to type this. We have been hiking through the pandemic. Secluded trails, six feet away, often at odd hours, 6:30 in the morning, 7 pm at night, turning back home if the trails were closed or parking lots full, hiking solo or only with the crew I am living with. No trips to the bathroom and not touching anything at the park. Nature and movement has been a huge reason how I have stayed sane, thrived in many moments and have had the ability to be a contributing member of our society. Yet, I felt guilty every time I got into the car knowing that I wasn’t “fully” honoring the ask before me. I felt guilty talking about hiking not knowing if I was adding to the problem or reminding people that there are ways we can walk safely. I still don’t fully know but I realized i was going to acknowledge that yes, there are some risks with many of my choices of hiking, take out meals, potentially sending my kids back to school (whenever they open), getting some help in the house (at some point in the coming months) and that I was taking them as safely as I can to take care of my mental health and live a life in alignment with my values.  

And yet, it’s still hard, the micro decision making, the guilt, the incomplete information, the uncertainty of all of this…

And this past weekend, it was a date hike. My sister, mansi who is living with us for a few more weeks graciously watched the kids (and made baklawa with them) and we went to the woods for a few hours and for a little while, life seemed a bit more normal, we filled up our cups, with nature, solitude and connection. We listened to Laura vanderkam’s latest book on the car ride and had meaningful conversations on the choices we want to make through this pandemic (and beyond). 

I know how special it is to have a few hours amidst a pandemic to have kid free time and I am nothing but grateful to my sister and to the universe at large for giving us this beautiful gift. It’s made me appreciate what we have with so much more depth and sincerity knowing that the fragility of life and that I may not live to type up my next hiking story. For me, it’s not about getting pessimistic or fearing dying but about truly honoring how blessed we are with all that is going well, to savor and celebrate and more importantly give back as best as we can…

What are you most savoring about this difficult and unreal season of our lives?

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