As I sit in my house on this beautiful spring day, it’s hard not to think about what I am missing in the outside world. Yes, I could go out to my front yard, but that’s about it. My brain is programmed to wake up and go to work, which is a pattern that is hard to break. My passion is to go fishing and submerge myself in the wonders of the outdoors, which includes stunning landscapes and frolicking wildlife under blue skies. And my heart is to spend time with my family and two young children. Well, fortunately, the latter is still an option and I’m Xperiencing some of the greatest days of my life watching the little ones grow. But I’m definitely missing the spring the way I remember it.
Regardless of how wonderful it is to spend time at home, it would feel a lot better if it was on my own terms. I find it frustrating and difficult to be told to “stay home,” but if it’s for the good of mankind, then I believe it’s a pretty reasonable request. And, quite frankly, it could be much worse.
However, I can’t help but have a feeling of emptiness, as I’m usually working and have since I was 14 years old. I wish I could be doing my job, and I miss the day-to-day routine. But I have been mandated by the county health officials to shut down as my business is deemed non-essential, which I had done long before it was mandatory in order to help be a part of the solution. I believe in the idea of following the rules for a short period of time and get back up and running. I’m not OK with the kind of do-what-we-were-told mentality, leaving us limping for the rest of the spring into summer. I don’t know about you, but running sounds whole lot nicer.
Now not only is my occupation put on hold, but my local lake and sanctuary have been put on the chopping block and are scheduled to be closed as well. It’s no surprise, as almost every lake, river, stream and park has been shut down in the entire state.
This is a tough pill to swallow. These wide-open spaces are a great way to get some fresh air while easily practicing social distancing. In addition, they are places where myself and family have made and make some of our fondest memories, long before any virus. But once again, I understand the end goal and really can’t wait for these areas to open again and for life to go back to some sort of normality.
So, with no work, no lake, no outdoor recreation areas we must lean heavily on the fact we do have free time and family. We could complain and get upset but I don’t think that would accomplish anything. So, we can be productive and get things done around the house and just be thankful for what we do have. The sooner we all unite and do what is best for us as a nation collectively, the sooner we will all have a chance to return to our lives, rebuild and move forward.
John Liechty is the owner of Xperience Fishing Guide Service in Angels Camp. Contact John at 743-9932.