In these times of uncertainty, and where the news and the rules/regulations being enforced to try and slow the spread of coronavirus are changing daily if not hourly- I’ve been trying to spend as much time outdoors as I can- away from the television and social media- if only for a little while. It’s one of the only things that keeps me- someone with a history of anxiety and panic attacks- calm when things start getting overwhelming.
I had recently mentioned spending some time in Pomfret, Connecticut over this past weekend to clear my head- which did wonders- but I’ve also made it a bit of a “Distraction Mission” to visit historical markers I pass on my way to/from my apartment nearly every day in an attempt to not only get some fresh air- but learn something new about where I grew up and where I’m presently living in Western Massachusetts.
For example, when I needed some sunshine and a break from all the stress/concern a few days ago- I stopped at Redemption Rock in Princeton, Massachusetts. It’s what it sounds like- a huge rock in the woods- but it has historical significance, too. Per the Trustees:
“Angered by the spread of colonial settlements westward, the chief King Philip (Metacomet) led the Nipmuc, Narragansett, and Wampanoag in defense of their land. In February 1676, several hundred Native Americans attacked Lancaster and captured Mary White Rowlandson, her three children, and twenty others and took them into the wilderness for several months. They returned to Lancaster in late April of 1676, where, as the inscription says, John Hoar of Concord negotiated Mary’s release at this huge, flat-topped granite ledge.”
I pass the marker and can catch a glimpse of the rock from the roadway when I’m traveling through Princeton- but finally decided to get a better look. I’m glad I did, because not only is the rock itself way bigger than I thought- but there are a couple of lovely trails that wind through the area, as well.
I love hiking this time of year- before things get too overgrown and before the bugs start re-emerging- so it was really relaxing and a great way to practice social distancing without going stir crazy with cabin fever. I can’t recommend going outside (just not in crowds) enough during these trying times.
I’ve already checked off a couple of additional roadside locations I’d like to learn more about in the coming days- so here’s hoping I’ll be able to do that before the things inevitably change again as we traverse through this unusual and unprecedented territory.
Hang in there, everybody.