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  • Writer's pictureLalita Dileep

From Malls to Mountains

Finding solace in the outdoors and away from confined spaces

We are heading out to the Mountains - maybe not literally but our steps are certainly tramping in that direction. We have all relocated indoors long enough to acknowledge that it is OK to declare that we have cabin fever. The flowers are blooming, the garden vegetables are almost entering the final cycle of their yield, the novelty of baking has added enough pounds to the waistlines - so everyone is ready to dash outside.

Enjoy what's left of summer by working up a sweat and try to feel normal again. To shake off the hours of prolonged work, the initial urge is to take a walk but for the more adventurous and fit: a run around the neighborhood is perfect to clear the head and fill one's lungs. Why compete for sidewalk space when you could head for the woods or even the mountains for a socially distant and mind refreshing hike instead? The mountain beckons not the mall. Hiking is the new weekend passion - the perfect combo of social distancing and cardio workout.

Bloom in New Ways

Vacations have been canceled, sporting events, shows, weddings and so many celebrations have been put on hold but not nature. Families and couples are finding new ways to enjoy the outdoors. Longer drives through the countryside. Visits to wine tasting in the open air, opting for vacations by car following a scenic route or even something as simple as dinners and celebrations planned in the backyard. Outdoor picnics have taken on a distinct charm - why not pack some snacks, water and drinks, something comfy to lounge on the grass, and a dash of music to set the tone for a relaxed outing.

A summer without backyard barbecues is as hard to imagine as a winter without snow. Most families are opting to keep this within the realm of their immediate circle and are enjoying the dining experience from their patios and decks

A "Second Look"

Armed with smartphones we have all become photographers and catalogers of our times. My son Adit started a shared photo album on our phones titled "Covid Cocoon". It is populated with pictures of my family of our many experiences of the Pandemic times. We are determined not to count 2020 as the year that is "lost" but instead the year we learned to pivot. Each one of us has learned many new things.

We have home-schooled toddlers, developed our blog, tried new things, created content and rediscovered our empathy. We continue to learn to be grateful for what we have, drawing from our family and close friends for support and sustenance, realizing that we can live simpler lives and be content. That retail therapy can be replaced by meditation, walking and listening to a podcast.

Has 2020 been a learning process for you? Do you miss the mall, the movie theater or are you content in nature? Are you eager for the old ways to return? Without a doubt 2020 is going to leave an indelible mark on our psyche but it is in our hands what we make of it.

We are stronger together


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