WARNING! Attitude Ahead.

If you are looking for light-and-uplifting, look away now. You will not find it here.

In the last several days I’ve attempted to write a handful of posts and each one was abandoned because I felt the tone was too sad and melancholy. They were not a proper reflection of how I thought I felt.

But this morning I woke up to rain and dark overcast skies.

… and the ubiquitous pandemic news.

… and the continuing bickering over “lives vs the economy”.

… and now a looming crisis in our food supply chain, with the virus having spread into the massive meat packing plants of North America.

As I nursed my morning coffee, the only solution I could come up with – other than burying myself in deep denial – was to embrace the melancholy and gloom. In other words, I went out in the rain hoping the messiness of nature would wash off the stink of growing despair.

Yes, I went rogue … going out on a forbidden city trail.

Clearly I wasn’t the only one. I encountered 3 humans, 5 dogs, and a whole lot of footprints to prove others came before me.

The rain did not let up for one minute, and although I was initially cold in the 9C (48F) morning temperature, I warmed up quickly enough … which was a good thing since I had only my phone, and a pair of gloves that made using the phone virtually impossible if I kept them on.

Try juggling gloves, a phone, and an umbrella in the persistent rain.

The 5-year-old in me still can’t resist puddles.

It was an odd kind of excursion. For starters, I was alone. What could possibly go wrong on a deserted trail in the misty gloom of a rainy morning?

Spoiler alert – nothing.

It gave me the opportunity to have a long overdue conversation with Mother Nature. I apologized for the complete cock-up we humans have made of things. We have a lot of shit to atone for.

But mostly I reflected on my suspicions that we haven’t seen the worst yet.

And there it finally was … the reason for my writing block, the restless nights, and the low-level anxiety I couldn’t shake.

I was afraid.

I was afraid of what could be coming next – growing protests against the closures and forced isolation. Civil disobedience. Growing animosity between people. Food shortages. Recession.

… not to mention the dreaded second wave.

It’s funny how a monster, once faced, no longer seems so scary.

It took a walk in the rain, and ultimately getting quite wet and muddy, to recognize that I have no power, no control over this situation. I am not a decision maker. I am not an influencer.

I have only my attitude.

… and today I declared I’ve had enough.

I will not be bullied by fear … and I left that unwelcome visitor on the trail.

126 comments

  1. I feel your pain. And anger. And fear, and yet also your strength and courage. Just from the fact that you see (and share) the beauty of gray rainy days. I’m working on that, but your photos give me hope that I’ll get there. I hope you write again and share with us. I love every post you write, and I never expect anything less than “attitude.”

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  2. I find your outrage and fear to be righteous and appropriate! I support the weather matching your mood and your stomp in the puddles. The pictures were absolutely mood provoking and matched your attitude.

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    • Thanks Joey. The past week has been another roller coaster of emotions. Just when I think I’m back on an even keel again, my emotions turn upside down again. As my mother was inclined to say with some frequency – this too shall pass.

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  3. I can’t resist a good puddle either. A foggy trail has a beauty to it that just begs us to have some deep contemplation. And the photos convey that so well. My disposition and mental state seem to go up and down for all the same reasons that you mention. I’m glad you were able to leave your fear on the trail. It’s raining here. Perhaps I will take a mentally reorienting stroll. Stay well, Joanne. xx

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    • It is a bit of a roller coaster ride, isn’t it? I’ll be going along blissfully and out of the blue, suddenly brought down with melancholy over a small tidbit of news.

      I haven’t been out for a few days except to do some yard work. I think I’m due for another walk somewhere with trees.

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  4. Good for you to be able to see the fear and face it. I find that being a person who like to be in control, this is a whole new chapter, possibly a new book, well lets face it a new library in a different country kind of experience. Initially I felt like a depressed sloth. Now I see it as a forced self reflection on what I want life to look like when this chapter ends.
    I think it is important to be kind to ourselves. Some days will still feel like crap, some will be brighter. one muddy step at a time.

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  5. Hello Joanne! It’s been many months since I’ve posted (just did!) and many more since I’ve visited other blogs. I’m so glad to come here and see and read about your walk! Good for you for getting out there! Your works “the continuing bickering over “lives vs the economy” ” are so on point!
    I’m so sorry that you had to cancel your trip to see my good friend Karen, but I’ll hope that as this crisis resolves, whenever that may be, you’ll get to make the trip! Take Care!

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    • Hi Laurie!! So nice to see you on WP again 😀 I’m so sorry your big plans for this spring got tossed into the dumpster. It puts my relatively minor disappointments into perspective.

      I’m trying to stay positive about better days ahead – sooner rather than later would be nice!!

      My very, very best wishes to you! Hope to be reading about your special day before this year is over ❤️

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  6. Your ‘spoiler alert had me roar’ as did your wisdom that humans have made a complete cock-up of things and have much to atone for. I am glad that you decided to embrace your melancholy and gloom and get out of the house. The best way to overcome fear is to stare it in the face. You definitely have the right attitude. Love you!

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    • I know exactly what you mean. Last night I had my first COVID dream. It’s pretty hard not to be affected mentally by all of this, and it’s bound to end up in our sleep.

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  7. I love the trail photos, Joanne. I think I would have left a negative or bad attitude there as well. Getting close to nature fixes so much. You wrote, “We have a lot of shit to atone for,” and I agree. I haven’t written much in the last two weeks and it’s because my mood has been pissy at best, partly due to work and much due to the pandemic. Maybe not fear as much as being affected by the behavior of others, the shit of which you speak. The inability of many leaders and politicians to have a united front, which leaves our country divided. Drives me crazy.

    That being said, you’ve inspired me to work on the attitude and stay positive this week. Thanks and I hope you and Gilles and your boys all stay well and healthy.

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    • Sorry Mary that I’m so late to getting back to you on this comment. Oddly, it seems there are so many more distractions now and blogging is so low on the priority list.

      The daily news is certainly a low right now. In the end, I just try to stay focused on me and what I can do, rather than railing at the world … it’s not productive and makes me crazy. Some days I’m actually successful at it 😉

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  8. Well. There you have it!! I think it was a fabulous idea to face the weather (and your demons) by going on a walk in the rain. Brilliant! I bet that hot shower when you came home washed away any doubt about fear that might have been still lingered… 🙂

    It’s a good time to become vegetarian! And ask forgiveness to Mother Nature for all human kind has messed up. Of course, it’d be better to prevent more environmental disasters than ask for forgiveness!

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    • We’re not quite there yet as vegetarians, but we’re creeping ever closer. To be honest, I doubt I’ll ever (willingly) get there 100%.

      Our green spaces are so vital to our health and well-being. I was very encouraged last year when I learned about an agreement had been reached between the Toronto Conservation Authority and Ontario Hydro to turn the east-west hydro corridor running through the city into a wildlife green space.
      Currently this corridor is mowed down regularly, but sections are in the process of being reseeded with native plants (short ones that won’t interfere with the hydro lines) to serve as a habitat for the city wildlife, and allow them to migrate east-west across the city. This represents about 20 km of new green space and will include walking/cycling trails.
      These kinds of initiatives make me hopeful and prove that humans can do the right thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. These are some of the most beautiful photos you have every posted! So sorry to hear about your anxiety and fear.
    I think I lost the fear and came to terms with this all because I could see the whole range of experiences that people are having – all in my own extended family. The nurse, the business person who may have lost his business; the essential service person; the person who works from home with no loss in pay; the senior in lockdown; the retiree; the trucker; the diabetic; the obese; the depressed, the person with heart disease. Some Liberals, some Conseratives, some NDP, some Greens. Some fearful, some not. But – we are a family and with tolerance, understanding, and a combination of skills and knowledge from everyone – we will get through this.

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    • So beautifully said, Margy. The individual stories from this global emergency are just that – individual. Each group you mentioned has a different version of what the past couple of months has meant to them. Some of those stories are very sad and will leave emotional scars. Others, like me, will come out ‘unscathed’ and yet changed at the same time.

      As you said, we will get through this … hopefully kinder and gentler with each other 💕

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