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A New Normal

Updated: May 12, 2021

Adapting to this new normal has been challenging in ways I never could have imagined. I’ve become so accustomed to the sound of the air conditioning outside our window, the smell of the sprinklers from our yard, and the repetitive routine of coffee, work, dinner, TV, bed. It has almost made me numb.

But something happened the other day. My teenage son is getting close to taking his driving test, and we try to find time each day to get out and just drive. It helps him practice the necessary skills while giving both of us an opportunity to decompress and get out of the house, quite literally.

We found ourselves driving through a local wildlife management area, complete with hiking trails. Stopping on the side of the dirt road, we closed the door to our car. And for the first time in forever, the silence was… deafening.

There were no neighbors, no music, no lawnmowers or pressure washers. The absence of sound was breathtaking. As we shuffled along the quiet trail beneath cloudy skies, the distant call from a whippoorwill and great horned owl caused both my son and I to stop in our tracks.

The simple beauty of things sometimes escapes us. But being away from them for a while, and having the opportunity to rediscover them for what feels like the first time, it reminds me just how wonderful and beneficial a walk in the woods can be. For the body, mind, and soul.


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