Because of the global pandemic, I was not able to go on vacation for my birthday this year. But my partner and I did go on a brief jaunt to a park we hadn’t been to, the aptly named World’s End.

Aptly named because I feel like I have been on a journey to the end of the world and back since March, as I deal with the pandemic’s wrath on the world, family and friends’ sickness and death, the unjust deaths of so many people of color, the hurt and rage that the nation is feeling. The divisiveness that seems to grow by the minute, including in my own heart.

We came upon this fallen tree at the park and I thought, “This is exactly how I feel right now. Uprooted. Untethered. Disconnected.”

However, the beautiful landscape did distract me and provide a few moments of joy. The park has water on three sides; wide, gently curving walking paths; meadows, marshland. We saw two deer as well as chipmunks and birds. We encountered few other visitors, so I wasn’t on edge the whole time.

I have always loved being out in nature, but I have relied on nature so much more during the pandemic…to provide entertainment, solace, and peace. To serve as a reminder that life goes on and all we have is the present moment.