It’s been weeks.  Weeks, since my feet have touched the dirt of a trail.  I haven’t left the house since March 12 and it’s now April 23, 4:00 am.

I have been tethered to the house, since all of the kids have been home.  I have run the same, tired loop of roadway in my neighborhood too many times to count.  And, I’m hungry.

I miss escaping to my favorite trails to meditate.  I miss the mud on my shoes and the smell of the trees.  The last time that I tried to head out to the trail, it was too crowded and I was forced to stay on the road adjacent to the park, doing what I hate – running facing traffic.  With the social distancing order, I didn’t even want to attempt running on the reservoir where people were “clumped together like kitty litter”, as a friend of mine so accurately described.

I haven’t been on the trails, and I haven’t swum a lap in a pool for a month either.  My stress and anxiety have taken root and are festering.  The part of me that longs for quiet and nature is shriveling and drying up like a fall leaf.  I’m not sleeping well and the days have become like white noise where I just try to get to the next breather.

I know that someday (I hope) I will be able to visit my favorite places.  But, for now, it’s a no-go.  Sometimes, when the kids are occupied, I find myself sitting in the chair staring at a life-sized picture my husband bought me that hangs on the wall.  It’s a picture of a very welcoming trail with lush, green trees that call out to me and allow me to imagine that I’m at the trail head, ready to begin a run.  I will pretend, just for a few moments, that I am there.

The spring races are gone, and the summer ones are now on the chopping block as well.  I think I’m ok with that, honestly.  But, I’m still hungry for a good, long run on the dirt.  I’d like a sense of normalcy, when everything feels off.  Everyday is the same; is it Monday or Saturday?  It doesn’t make a difference when you have nowhere to go.  There’s no sun, the weather has stayed chilly, and I’m suffering, just like everyone else.

Know that you’re not alone, if you relate to any of this.

What was a 3 week respite has now stretched from April 6 to May 1.  I think all of us know that the kids won’t be back to school anymore this year.  My kids asked me the other day if I think we’ll be able to go to a fourth of July parade.  I told them that I honestly didn’t think so.

For now, we will stick with FaceTime and text messages to check in on the people we care about.  I will patiently wait to try to get groceries (and toilet paper, for Pete’s Sake).

Don’t forget to reach out to friends that may be suffering through this, too.  We all have crosses to bear right now.  Between homeschooling, being trapped in the kitchen all day feeding people that eat out of boredom, and trying to maintain a schedule with the kids, we are all being thrown into this without preparation.  And, God bless the parents that are also trying to work from home at this time.

This hasn’t been easy, and it’s not going to change much for now.  Hang in there, everyone.  Let’s hope things get better by May.

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