Opinion

On 2021: Pushed outdoors, and staying there

The Gazette asked community leaders to write short commentaries reflecting on 2020 and their hopes for 2021

The woods and water have always been my places of refuge and recharge.

2020 brought a critical need for both, and with it, an opportunity for me to expand my definition of fun. When the Y closed and I couldn’t swim, I dug out my oldest, heaviest wetsuit and froze my butt off swimming in a frigid lake. It was glorious. And it fostered a new love of open water swimming that has helped buoy through me this year.

When lockdown closed my favorite outdoor spot in Wisconsin, I found a new spot. And a new love of hammock camping. This new spot is even farther from humanity, and the hammock is kinder to my middle aged joints than sleeping on the ground.

Here’s the thing: it’s easy to be lonely at home. It’s really hard to be lonely in the woods. If 2020 pushed you outdoors, good! Don’t stop! The winter woods are spectacular. The stark beauty of trees in dazzling frost, crackling hoofsteps of deer, bickering bald eagles, and the immense silence at night are all good medicine. Bundle up and go find some new fun.

Cara Briggs Farmer is an artist in Marion.

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

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