(Black Press Media files)

(Black Press Media files)

Painful Truth: Spring in Langley is a balm in the pandemic

Everything is finally green!

One of the things that got me through last spring with my sanity more-or-less intact was my bicycle.

By April 2020, you may recall that everything was bad and scary, stores were rationing toilet paper, we didn’t know if we should be wearing masks, but there were no masks to hand anyway, and we were looking up YouTube tutorials on cutting our own hair.

A lot of us were out of work, or working reduced hours, or working from home suddenly.

The one thing that was still safe was going outside, especially on two wheels.

Spring is beautiful from the back of a bike.

The greatest thing about living in Langley is the Agricultural Land Reserve. From my home in the densest part of Willoughby, I can get on two wheels and be out in farm country in five minutes.

Two-wheeled therapy was vital during those months from April, May, and June, when everything was shut down, when the news was mostly bad, when vaccines were still on the far distant horizon.

This time of year, from late March through to early May, is my favourite.

We start with winter still lurking. Temperatures get up to 10, maybe 12 or 13 degrees Celsius. If it’s clear there might still be frost overnight. There are flowers coming up here and there, brave pioneers of the season, but for the most part things are pretty grey-brown, and the tree branches remain bare.

By the time April is wrapping up, everything has changed. Dandelions are bobbing their heads in every field and roadside verge. The trees are casting real shade from their new leaves. And it’s warm!

This April was particularly nice, with that long stretch of warm, sunny weather early in the month. We deserved that. It’s been a long winter. It’s been a long year.

Even once the rains returned, I didn’t mind a bit. It’s still light for hours, it’s still warm enough to go out with a light jacket and an umbrella, and it’s still gloriously green, everywhere.

It’s hard to describe how much the green of new growth is soothing.

We’re in a strange time right now. Things are simultaneously much, much better than they were a year ago – your senior relatives are almost certainly vaccinated, you might be vaccinated, deaths are down, more people are working – and just as bad, with infection rates back up, restrictions tightened, and questions about when this will all end very much up in the air.

READ MORE: Canada’s immigration hopes may not be enough in a post-COVID world

My advice is to get outside. Whether it’s on a bike or as a pedestrian, get out there. Langley has multiple local and regional parks – from Williams to Campbell Valley to Derby Reach to the trails through the Walnut Grove ravines, check them out. You don’t need a dog to walk as an excuse to get outdoors every day.

The pandemic, unfortunately, isn’t over, and the fact that we can see the end, but can’t quite get there yet, is intensely frustrating. We keep asking when and all anyone can tell us is “not yet.”

We’re no longer in a panicked sprint, we’re in the last, exhausting last leg of a marathon. Heading outdoors into a beautiful spring is the one way we can all recharge the batteries.


Have a story tip? Email: matthew.claxton@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ColumnLangleyspring

Just Posted

Mosquito control contractors have been applying the bacterial larvicide by ground since late April. (Black Press files)
Pest control experts keeping mosquitoes at bay along the Fraser River

Bacterial larvicide has been used along the shores in Maple Ridge, Langley, and Pitt Meadows

Bella Jun claimed the prize for select female dog at the Westminster Dog Show. (Special to The Star)
Aldergrove breeder earns two top honours at Westminster dog show

Woodside’s German Shepherds, Arabella and Bella Jun, earned best in breed and select female

Langley City's economy is poised to enter a new phase when the SkyTrain line arrives in the downtown core. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Zumba, spin classes set to return soon in Langley City

B.C.’s restart plan means more rec offerings

Katy Mayrs, (L) last year’s winner of Langley Rotary’s first ever 50/50 Mega Draw, hopes to repeat her good luck as she buys a ticket on this year’s Langley Rotary 50/50 Mega Draw from Aldergrove Rotary’s Pauline Buck. (Special to The Star)
Lucky Langley lottery winner hopes to do it again

Tickets on sale now for Rotary Lottery 50/50 mega draw, which will be drawn on Aug. 18

Langley Township Fire Department provides not only fire fighting but also medical care. A local resident is grateful to firefighters for their medical care on two recent occasions. (Langley Township website screen capture)
LETTER: Langley Township firefighter care greatly appreciated

A North Langley resident wanted Township fire crews to know she’s grateful for their help

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Camper van explosion burns Vancouver Island gas station to the ground

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. The website for a Broadway theatre showing "Springsteen on Broadway" said it would only allow guests "fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine" — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
No Springsteen for you: AstraZeneca not good enough to qualify for Broadway ticket

Victoria area mayor among those unable to attend New York entertainment due to COVID-19 restriction

Audrey Inouye (right) with her two sons Kiyoshi McMillan (left) and Kaito McMillian drop off her milk to hospital volunteer Sylvia Hendel at a human milk depot on October 11, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Fraser Health appeals for breast milk after unexplained drop in donations

Give your breast milk and save newborn lives, the health authority is encouraging mothers

The BC Ferries’ website is down for the second time in one week from what they say is likely an overwhelming increase in web traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Surging web traffic crashes BC Ferries’ site again

Website down for second time this week

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
PODCAST: John Furlong lays out a ‘provincial’ B.C. plan to host the 2030 Winter Olympics

Podcast: Chat includes potential role for Vancouver Island communities

Most Read