• Courtney McLane Mize

The Best Part of the Worst Year #4

2020 has brought me back to my roots

When I say back to my roots, I don't necessarily mean my personal roots. I was raised in the suburbs. Until I met Tyler I didn't know much about working with the seasons or living off the land...with the exception of catching some Florida bass. I am taking a risk by assuming that many of you can relate to that. Unless you have experience on a farm or with a rural lifestyle, your heart may not fully resonate with this idea of going back to your roots or experiencing a return to the old. That is until 2020 happened.

We, as a collective, have experienced first-hand what it is like for everything we've ever known to be taken away from us in an instant. The conveniences that we rely on and businesses that help sustain our everyday life began to shut down at a mere moment's notice. Do you remember the day you woke up and couldn't purchase cold medicine, toilet paper, and food? Do you remember covering your face and lining up outside a grocery store in the early morning with hopes of finding something as simple as paper towels or a bag of rice? We are blessed to live in a world with restaurants, grocery stores, and pharmacies. That may sound trivial, but it's true. We've never been able to imagine life without them until we had to imagine life without them.

This awakening in our society was unexpected but, in my opinion, so desperately needed. I have seen more people reconnecting with the Earth, starting gardens, reading books, and enjoying walks throughout nature this year than ever before. In 2019, 2.5 million students K-12 were enrolled in homeschool programs. As of Spring 2020, an additional 50 million more U.S. children were forced into schooling from home. As of mid-May, a nationwide poll found that 59% of parents would be likely to pursue at-home learning, whether that be online school or homeschooling. Homeschooling used to be somewhat taboo, it was definitely not considered the norm when I was growing up. Now, over half the parents in our nation are in favor of at-home learning. If that doesn't show you that times are indeed changing, I'm not sure what will.

We have found the importance of going back to our roots.


Connecting with the Earth.

Turning our cultural norms upside-down.

We have to step back to move forward. There is value in these rhythms of old. The ability to provide for ourselves and our families independently, growing foods sustainably, educating our children intentionally, living in symbiosis with the Earth because, for a brief moment, the Earth and the people around us were the only things we had. Going back to our roots. That what 2020 has taught me. That has been the best part of the worst year.