THE DEEPER WE got into our isolation, the more I missed the old routines and simplicities of daily life. I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed making the kids’ lunches in the morning, or quiet time in a coffee shop to work alone, or watching baseball, or hands that didn’t crack and bleed from frequent washes, or going to the grocery store without wearing a virtual HAZMAT suit.

Tips for safe hiking, once it’s safe to hike again

Cover story: Whether you forge a new trail or follow these tips, the benefits — and beauty — of a hike can help heal our collective spirit 

Some state parks and public lands will reopen May 5 for day use

I am constantly aware, and grateful, that we are safe, and together, at home, but I do long for those days of a prepandemic existence.

But then, after a few weeks of stay-at-home, I also started to realize that it doesn’t do much good to dwell on what we’re missing. We’re all doing what’s necessary in these extraordinary times, and we’ll get back to some semblance of normalcy soon enough; I know we will.

What helped me was to look ahead, to figure out what’s most important to my family and me, and prioritize that in the weeks and months ahead. One of those small things, I’ve discovered, is a new fascination with the outdoors. That seems only natural while cooped up inside for such an extended period, but I was struck by how much one short hike in mid-March rekindled my outlook. It gave me a chance to breathe, to forget momentarily about the stress of the latest news development, to reset my perspective.

Then I started to think about what regular outings like that could do for my overall well-being, and it got me excited about a new hobby. I’ve hiked local trails before, but never regularly, and never with the same vigor and enthusiasm I plan to bring to nature whenever parks and trails reopen.

I know I won’t be the only one: Many, many new hikers, I suspect, will hit the trails and seek out their own adventures. That will introduce new issues to what some in the hiking community say are already overcrowded areas, but I do believe if we all commit to a respectful approach — and continued social distancing, even in the wilderness — there should be room for us all out there.

I can’t wait to get out and explore more.