Guest Column: Driftless Grace—Familiar rhythms return to the Valley

Grace Vosen, Contributor

I had a busy April, but most of that was one-on-one activities with friends (or events with a defined endpoint where I couldn’t linger). Recently, though, I had the pleasure of going to a real live Event. It came complete with kids running across the lawn, adults from outside my “bubble”, delightful vintage items for sale, and lunch served by a local business. It was my new community in miniature, and the energy was infectious.

Photo via Grace Vosen

Thankfully, my masked and vaccinated fellow-citizens weren’t. It seems the people in my community not only care about sustainability and local food, but also the well-being of others. Whatever the future might hold, I can be thankful for this.

As we ate at tables spaced six feet apart, I couldn’t decide if I was looking at a futuristic scene or a blast from the past. Perhaps mask-wearing and social distancing have become so commonplace that they will remain a part of daily life. Or perhaps they’re a last vestige of 2020 as we nudge closer to the way things used to be. Both are valid interpretations of our present moment.

Even if COVID is here to stay, I hope to stop writing about it at some point. There’s just so much more to the place where I live, even after two months of exploration. The virus is already playing less of a role in my decisions — even as I wipe down the vintage goods I bought on Saturday, just in case.

I’m not prepared to say there’s a “silver lining” to the pandemic, as many journalists have proclaimed. But it did give rise to some good habits that I can continue to practice. (My blog is one of these.) It also gave rise to genuine gratitude for the things I’ve missed. May you share in all of the energy and none of the infection during this time of renewal.

 <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