“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”--Martin Luther King, Jr.
These are unusual times. While our day-to-day routines have changed pretty dramatically, it’s important to remember that we can still seek joy, peace, health and beauty.
I know many are disappointed that almost every organized activity you can imagine has been canceled or postponed. Every spring I look forward to the first art shows and other art related events. This year I was personally excited about showing my new series of paintings, MY OZARKS, at various art fairs, but that’s not going to happen. Since we are going to be out of our routines, now is a good time to break some old habits and start a few new ones. It may be awhile before you see me in public again. No, I haven’t decided to shelter-in-place. My wife are now artists-in-residence.
Social distancing doesn’t mean we need to stop everything and become hermits. The Outdoors is still open for business. There is no reason we can’t go for walks, hike, explore, and observe spring coming into bloom. There is nothing more beautiful than an Ozarks spring with Redbuds and Dogwoods. With all the rain, the waterfalls are flowing, and the trees will soon begin to leaf out. If we happen across other nature and outdoor lovers, we’ll be friendly, but keep our distance.
We have so many places to hike, waterfalls to see and secluded trials to take while watching the magic of winter turning into spring. The Ozarks is blessed with Conservation Areas in every county. If you and your family want to enjoy spring, here are three websites to research, the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources-State Parks. My favorite source for places to hike is AllTrails.com. It’s a great resource with photos, detailed descriptions, maps, difficulty ratings and reviews from other hikers. Best of all this is free.
Just a heads up, while the trails may be open, many facilities are closed including public restrooms, visitor centers, and public campgrounds – plan accordingly.
Here is a list of a few more ideas to inspire you this spring:
Staying home could be the best way to spend time with your children, and help them build confidence and character during a stressful time. No one knows how long the Coronavirus will last, but it may be the best thing to happen to you this spring. Have a Happy and Safe Spring.