As we creep out of restrictions (and possibly put them to rest this month), I am thinking a lot about how we move on from the pandemic. Some, like me, are ready to be done and to think about this as a bad dream. Others are, and will continue to be, scared for a while with their or their loved ones’ health still forefront in their minds.

Still others will be emerging with deeper scars, the sort that are not easily seen and may stay with them much longer than COVID-19’s hold. Isolation has been as damaging to our health as the pandemic, and coming out of isolation may not be as easy as just reappearing in public.

In this month’s issue, we interviewed some new moms who gave birth under the constraints of the pandemic. For so many of them, a time of joy became one of fear, especially for those first-time mothers who were absorbing the strange wonderfulness of pregnancy with a much, much smaller support system. Their experiences touch us because birth should never be a solitary endeavor, and a life entering this world is meant to be celebrated by community. These moms had to be not only brave, but resilient.

The dip in pregnancies during COVID-19 is also telling. We usually have the reassurance that better times are coming through even the coldest winter, but last year never seemed to promise a warm spring. Between health fears, political upheavals and social injustices, there wasn’t much to inspire the love that makes creating a child so special. Last year was a winter of survival, all year long.

But we are resurfacing, emerging timid or triumphant, and we do have a new season in front of us. I think this spring will be marked by a new consciousness. Families have rediscovered spending time together in nature, and that is one beautiful piece to come out of all the upheaval. It may mean we have to share our natural resources with more people, and with a little more patience, but that’s only fair—it’s our shared responsibility.

Another reason for Northern Colorado to be proud can be found with farmers like those who own and operate Root Shoot Malting, located in Loveland. These are next-generation farmers paying attention to the land and preserving agriculture when it would be so much easier to hand land over to developers, our fields and open spaces be damned. I look at the Olanders with a huge amount of respect and admiration. They are choosing the hard route, and for a much greater purpose, and they are making a success of it. Our region’s future is brighter because of it.

And I guess that is my takeaway this month: our land, be it wild mountains or rolling farms, and our families are such precious commodities. Let’s do our best to nurture both.

See in you in June.

Angie Grenz