Twelve days after first feeling sharp edges with each shallow and a subtle tightness in my chest, I had been through the worst of my first bout with Covid. The first five days were unpleasantly filled with body aches, extreme exhaustion, and an eye shutting headache. Mentally I had no capacity to write last Sunday. I sat with my fingers on the keyboard of my laptop, staring at the random Google Docs prompt for hours, in and out of mindlessness. 

As my mind started to work again and I emerged from the bedridden phase, I could easily shower, drive with a concentrated effort, and work for 3 to 4 hours at a clip. Not setting any productivity personal bests but moving back toward a functional adult. Each day had a slight gain in energy, but the pace was frustrating, like I was training for a marathon. Day twelve was a leap beyond day eleven that I desperately needed. I needed to be outside and near water. 

With my first real burst of energy, I decided to go to a fly shop and walk along a stream. Physically fishing wasn’t a practical or safe activity, but I hoped being around fishing would lift me up. Picking up a few needed items for traveling this week got gears in my mind moving beyond just thinking of getting better. The trip to the fly shops felt like I was accomplishing a task, but walking from the truck to the stream, I smiled. 

This smile was more than a movement of facial muscles. My spirit felt lifted along with the edges of my mouth. Leaves are starting to brown at their edges and a few even were falling to the water, even with green grass growing in the fields. Each deep breath filled me with crisp and slightly smoky aromas of fall. A family sat and ate their lunch at a picnic table. A jolly toddler munched on Cheerios while happily snugged in her stroller. An older couple crossed a pedestrian bridge and disappeared along the forested trail. 

Walking along the trail, the sounds of the stream overtook the voices around the picnic table and the crunch of my footsteps. I love that moment. When a stream takes over my senses I am in my happy place. At the edge of the stream, I suddenly missed fishing. My eyes search the water for signs of a white fin, a shadow, or movement. The cool mist rising off the water makes its way to my skin giving me a slight chill. Another smile. 

Continuing my hike, I came upon anglers fishing from the opposite bank. They appeared to be two separate groups, younger boys and two men about my age were casting a mix of fly rods and spinning rods. Their comradery and bright smiles were a reminder of the ability of fishing to bring people together, connect them with nature, and enrich their lives. Another smile. 

The trail meandered through the floodplain, through the healthy trees and shrubs of the riparian corridor. Instead of feeling drained I felt reinvigorated but my short hike. I chuckled to myself, knowing that if I was fishing, seeing that many people around the stream may have interrupted my solitude and likely would have frustrated me. With my extended time in isolation, I experienced gratitude for being outside and opened a new perspective. Our natural resources and public areas can lift us up and bring us together. Streams are my place of zen. Stay healthy and spend some time outside! 

Keep Mending!     

2 Replies to “Just What the Doctor Ordered”

  1. I am very happy to hear that you are feeling much better. I totally appreciate your writing and the experiences you share with us. Thank you and hope you get out in the water very soon.

  2. Sounds like that virus is finally on its way out! Yea!
    What a lovely walk in places that revitalize you and fill your recovering lungs with needed refreshment!
    I am so glad you got to do this!

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