Usually, summer is filled with hikes, wandering among the wilderness and visiting the places that were too far up and too far away for people to stay. This summer is an exception. It has been spent mostly at home.
Things have been rough. Pandemic, family, being essential at work, these all took up huge swaths of time and added stress, as did our current political situation. I always liked novels set in a futuristic dystopia with rampant insanity, but it turns out I don’t care to actually live in them. Fatigue with the whole thing is near constant.
Several times plans for camping and hiking were made, only to be scrapped by unconstrained forest fires. Escaping those wasn’t really possible, as the smoke plumes enshrouded my home. Sleeping became hard, as my hind-brain would smell smoke and wake me, kicking in the adrenaline in preparation for running from the fires.
Still, I’m pretty lucky. I still have a job to go to. Nothing I own was destroyed by the fires. So far, knock wood, my wife and I have stayed healthy. The folks I know who have caught the virus have been lucky enough to come through mostly OK. A couple are pulling the long haul, and I continue to hope they fully recover.
I miss the high up places, the ones with things left behind. There’s been no real visits to them this year. I hope the fires leave them alone, and the snows don’t collapse them further. I hope they’re still waiting.
I’m not fooling myself. The next few months are going to be brutal. Between the winter making the virus potentially worse and the upcoming election being the first one in my life time that I am genuinely concerned will lead to violence and bloodshed, I’ve got other things to worry about.