Back to Nature

Updated: Aug 12, 2020

In my mind March was the seasonal bridge between the seemingly everlasting winter, and a blossoming spring;

In this time I would begin to shed away the thick skin which had grown over the months of December through February.

I spent mornings cuddled up against the large window facing the

garden, watching the ice and snow melt away to reveal the softened blades of green grass and the discolored wooden patio.

My outdoor life was back on track.

One afternoon, as if having forgotten to wake up from a lucid dream, my reality drastically changed. A pandemic confined me alone in my home.

In my confinement I struggled to find purpose or reason in my daily life. I woke up every morning without an appetite and sulked with the loss of my social freedom and ability to climb. It felt as though I was being caged away from everything that made me happy: my friends, climbing and the challenges of the outside world.

Some mornings I would wake up with a rebellious drive against the disheartening choke of isolation and reclaimed my right to live. I built a makeshift climbing gym on the ceiling of my basement, using scavenged rocks from my garden and scrap wood from my garage.

I climbed creatively and entertained myself with how silly I felt hanging off the creaking beams. I was also convinced that I was training efficiently and learning route setting skills which would be valuable for my future as a rock-climbing guide.

After many weeks of a progressively worsening global situation in combination with my birthday being spent alone... I finally broke. I made plans to flee isolation and take the next flight back home to Cairo, Egypt.

This was very obviously a rash decision made during a dance with fear and loneliness. By day I paced the floors of my hollow and lifeless home, by night I dreamed vividly of my parents being ripped away from me in a post apocalyptic world. I am no stranger to feeling powerless (having experienced the Egyptian revolution at the ripe age of 15), but I truly feared the future ahead of me.

To give a better understanding of how I was feeling during this time, here is a journal entry typewritten on the 5th of April.

It is obvious that I was very disappointed with how the world was treating me, and once again, much like when I was 15 it took time to realize that at the end of this journey stands a version of me which I could either admire or loathe.

So I started remembering that regardless of whether I would ever be able to travel home, see my friends or go climbing again, the spring would blossom to bring summer, and fall would return to bring winter, and once again spring would come.

A month and a half later, today, I woke up to warm weather with plans to go climbing at Lac Boisseau.

I am free.

I am happy.

I am back to nature.

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