The process of adjusting to a new reality is even more challenging when the recipe calls for a global pandemic. (I know, using global and pandemic together is redundant, but it’s become one of my favorite phrases used by world-wide global newscasters. As if a pandemic by itself doesn’t call to mind images of the Apocalypse, we need to add on “global” to give the phrase extra flair, like some after-thought at the end of a thought.)
I looked for a new hobby. I needed something to do which was fun, socially distant, and didn’t require any clear destination. Driving around alone and by myself (ok, I’ll stop) was something I already enjoyed. Add on a new interest in photography with nostalgia of rural life and, puff, a new hobby was created. A hobby I call “barning.”
Barning is simply driving around and taking pictures of barns and other cool country stuff. It’s a versatile word. “I’m headed out to go barning. See you later!” is a good use of barning as a verb. “My barning rarely lasts less than one hour” brings in the term as a noun. And so on and so forth.
I’ve been a barner for almost one year now and I love it. Most of the time I start out with a direction in mind to steer the car only to continue the journey following chance and popped up surprises. I have a GPS which is turned on at the end to give me general directions to get home again. Even then, I take detours and switchbacks in a whimsical sort of way.
What I end up with are images of fascinating people, places, and things to keep my camera busy. I’ve developed a better understanding of the region of this earth I call home. And, I’ve discovered a great method to unwind and forget about the chaos of this world.