Contributor Column: Moving Forward with (Driftless) Grace

Grace Vosen, Contributor

A welcome sign outside the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center in Spring Green. Photo via Grace Vosen

The riverwalk in Sauk City became crowded earlier this month when the temperature soared, relatively speaking, into the 50s. Although I prefer to walk alone, I found I couldn’t blame my fellow hikers and cyclists. For those of us who didn’t book a spring break trip, these sunny days were a welcome reprieve from the gray depths of winter.

Working my way down the sodden trail, I passed a fence meant to keep visitors off the riverbank. A woman was looking intently over the barrier and into the water.

I asked if she saw anything good. She told me she was studying the erosion along the bank.

“That’s not good,” I quipped.

“Well, you have to look at it before you can fix it,” the woman replied.

I immediately felt the relevance of this sentence to my current situation.

A friend and I have been discussing the importance, or lack thereof, of acknowledging hard times. At what point should a person just shrug it off , move on, and try to be grateful for what they have? Longtime readers of my blog, “Driftless Grace”, know that I do my best never to complain. I prefer to use humor and — yes — gratitude in my approach to life.

That’s how I’d like to appear, at least. Really, it’s no secret that this winter was hard for me. In addition to the pandemic and its effect on group activities, I was kept away from some favorite people and places by icy backroads. The result was way too much time spent dejected and in front of a screen.

But now that spring is here, I’m more free to acknowledge these problems (look at them) and take steps in the other direction (fix them). When an opportunity arose for me to move to the Spring Green area, I took it. I now live closer to more of my favorite spots, in a place that nurtures my interests in conservation and community.

This change should help immensely.

Even we introverts are members of a social species. Having these people and places close by will make me feel part of something, help me play my own small role a little better. It’s my hope that when the next winter or (heaven forbid!) next pandemic comes around, I’ll have the resources to live a more fulfilling life.

Sorry I won’t be around to fix the erosion.

 <em>Grace Vosen</em>
Grace Vosen

Grace Vosen is a writer and conservation educator living in Spring Green. She blogs about both the human and nonhuman communities of our region at