Tag Archives: reflection

Rooted Radio 002

By: Jennifer Katz, Senior studying Science, Technology, Society and the Gender, Health, & Wellness Coordinator at the Sarah Doyle Center

These mornings I let my alarm go off six or seven times, the end of each snooze interval repeatedly jolting me awake. I am desperate to savor the warm embrace of being perfectly bundled in my blue toile-patterned covers. More than usual, it’s been difficult to convince myself that it’s worthwhile to face the chill outside of my bed,  especially when “outside” is restricted to the few rooms in my home.

While April has been devastated by the damage of this grand flood, from my window I can see evidence that spring is here and the warm days of May are on the horizon. The cherry blossoms are shedding pastel pink flowers, softly gracing the earth’s floor. The hydrangeas in my backyard are just beginning to bloom, painting a blur of amethyst along the lining of my cracked wooden fence. A green-eyed cat with light gray fur gracefully glides behind the room that I have now designated as my office, pausing to meow for food through the glass. Since I’ve last been home, my parents have installed two more bird feeders, incorporating into my every day a rainbow of colorful birds like Northern Cardinals and Blue Jays, as well as their songs, whistles, and chirps.

Rooted Radio 002 is for daydreaming about the future, reflecting on the past, and celebrating renewal. 

Country Living during COVID-19

By: Rae Gould, Associate Director of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative

Leverett, Mass.

Rather than thinking of time at my home in Western Massachusetts as “isolation,” I am working to remain focused on opportunities for reflection, growth and rejuvenation. Although some days are more challenging than others, rediscovering my love of cooking through healthy, home-cooked meals and culinary explorations, combined with rediscovering the great outdoors, have been welcome reprieves from the daily news and associated stresses.

One example is a recent first-time exploration of Catamount State Forest, located in Colrain, Massachusetts. This remote forest near the Vermont border has an even more remote pond in the center, accessible only by foot. Time away from my computer and the confines of my home was a welcome break on the cool spring day I explored this area. Although I have lived in Western Massachusetts for two and half years, I’m finding that the COVID-19 experience provides a new reason to explore this beautiful area of the state and plan to take advantage of socially-distanced activities like walks and hikes in remote areas as warmer temperatures arrive this spring. Another beautiful part of nature in this area, black bears, is perhaps the only other consideration to enjoying the outdoors these days, besides social distancing, of course. I hear from my neighbors that the bears are awake now, although I have not had the pleasure of a visit on my property yet this year.

I think of my colleagues and friends from Brown University daily and remain connected a number of ways: regular meetings with staff and faculty, helpful webinars offered by Wellness at Brown and Talent Development, and continuing to plan projects for when the campus returns to normal. In the meantime, I’ll work to stay healthy and balanced through reconnecting with the beautiful area I’ve chosen to call home, and I’ll keep reminding myself that country living during COVID-19 is a blessing during these trying times.

Image credit: Photos of McLeod Pond, Catamount State Forest, Colrain, Mass. (by the author)