The Solitude Sunday Series, Part 2: Winter to Spring

Beginning sometime in February, Abbs and I were once again on our own for our Sunday hikes. As I mentioned in the first blog post in the solitude series, spending my Sundays with her this past year has been essential to maintaining my sanity. We picked up where we’d left off, continuing our trips to the canyons and meadows of the Sacramento Mountains to hike beneath the fir, pine, and aspen. And, most importantly, in continuing to avoid places in which we’d encounter people.

I cherished these days immersed in the silence of the tall trees, free from bombardment from texts, calls, e-mails, and live humans. We both also enjoyed the snow that lingered in places through the end of March as well as the eventual greening of the grass that signaled the emergence of spring. As temperatures warmed the greater movement among the elk and deer brought Abbs additional satisfaction, providing her with many more smelling jobs. And as always, I derived peace from just hiking with Abby as well as joy in watching her frolic across forest, meadow, and trail.

By the time the last of these photos were taken the country had been thrown in the catastrophe, uncertainty, and anxiety of COVID and these Solitude Sundays became an opportunity to escape from the reality of lockdown. With the job site closed Tom and I were fortunate to have the opportunity to self-isolate and thus ensure our safety, but a weekly dose of trees and mountains continued to bolster my mental health and soothe my soul.