river talk

Emerging energies

By SANDY LONG
Posted 4/28/20

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to govern our lives, the toll on our physical and mental well-being can be substantial. Adhering to the restrictions that will keep all of us safer is admittedly …

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river talk

Emerging energies

Posted

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to govern our lives, the toll on our physical and mental well-being can be substantial. Adhering to the restrictions that will keep all of us safer is admittedly stressful, but we are also witnessing inspiring examples of selflessness and compassion in response. Hope is on the horizon as the natural world comes to life with the energy of spring.

Evidence of animal activity and the emergence of plant life is all around and particularly inspiring now. To experience the dependable cycle of the seasons provides a sense of reassuring stability and a welcome distraction to the dire news delivered daily.

On an invigorating walk recently, I was gifted with opportunities to engage with elements of the natural world that enlivened my flagging senses—the slightly fishy and yet freshening ozone-laden air wafting in the spray of a waterfall, the echoing honks of Canada geese perturbed at my presence, the exhilarating gust of April’s windy turbulence and the gentle balm of the season’s final snowflakes following slashing sprays of pea-sized hail and occasional pelting rain. Spring in the Upper Delaware River region!

Opt outside if you can, or take a “virtual walk” in the woods with the knowledgeable staff of the Delaware Highlands Conservancy. Amanda Subjin and Kate Hausman are leading online educational forays into local forests and properties with conservation easements, like Lemons Brook Farm, a 119-acre protected property near Bethel, NY with woodlands, wetlands, open pastures and diverse wildlife habitats. Tag along via Instagram or by visiting the Conservancy’s website and Facebook videos tab, where you can explore other videos.

I had the pleasure of experiencing an artist’s residency at Lemons Brook Farm and photographing many aspects of its wild beauty. You can “visit” this remarkable property online by roaming through the gallery of images.

Many online resources are emerging in response to the COVID-19 crisis. As we don the masks meant to protect others and to be protected ourselves, as we practice social distancing and hunker down with restricted sets of loved ones, perplexing questions arrest our thinking about our roles as individuals and as members of the larger communities we are connected to and care about.

 Before resuming some version of the lives we lived before a virus forced us to stop and reflect, we should cast a clear eye on our actions and ponder the implications of our choices. The following are several tools that might help:

“Parabola Magazine,” a thoughtful publication devoted to “the search for meaning,” is offering a free PDF of its current issue, “Alone and Together,” via DailyGood: News That Inspires—a terrific online resource for fostering a positive perspective on life. See their post about the challenges and gifts of solitude, a piece titled “On Being Alone,” by Craig Childs at www.bit.ly/beingalonechilds.

Enter the literary portal of “Emergence Magazine,” a quarterly online publication that explores the threads connecting ecology, culture and spirituality. The current issue is filled with stories, essays and more offering responses to the pandemic framing our lives now.

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